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Title: Works of John Bunyan — Volume 02
Author: Bunyan, John
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Works of John Bunyan — Volume 02" ***

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www.johnbunyan.org.



THE WORKS OF JOHN BUNYAN

WITH AN

INTRODUCTION TO EACH TREATISE, NOTES,

AND A

SKETCH OF HIS LIFE, TIMES, AND CONTEMPORARIES.

VOLUME SECOND.

EXPERIMENTAL, DOCTRINAL, AND PRACTICAL.

EDITED BY

GEORGE OFFOR, ESQ.



THE SAINTS' KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST'S LOVE; OR, THE UNSEARCHABLE
RICHES OF CHRIST.

BY JOHN BUNYAN


PREFATORY REMARKS BY THE EDITOR.

This treatise is one of those ten distinct works, which the author
had prepared for the press, when he was so suddenly summoned to
the Celestial City. Well did his friends in the ministry, Ebenezer
Chandler and John Wilson, call it "an excellent manuscript,
calculated to assist the Christian that would grow in grace, and
to win others over to Jesus Christ."

It was first published, with a selection of Bunyan's Works in a
folio volume, in 1692, about four years after the author's decease;
and although it is a treatise exhibiting very deep research and
calculated for extensive usefulness, it does not appear ever to
have been published as a separate volume. Like all other of his
works, it is original; no one before him treated this subject
with such profound depth of thought, nor with such clear Christian
philosophy.

The revered John Bunyan proves in this, as in all other of his
works, that he was a real and not a pretended descendant from the
apostles,--he breathes their spirit--he knew his Master's work, and
faithfully discharged his solemn requirements. His object was as
pure as it was apparent; to preach not himself, but Christ Jesus
his Lord. One desire appears to have influenced him in writing
all his works--that of shrinking back and hiding himself behind
his Master, while exhibiting the unsearchable, Divine, eternal
riches of His grace.

This treatise is admirably adapted to warn the thoughtless--break
the stony heart--convince the wavering--cherish the young
inquirer--strengthen the saint in his pilgrimage, and arm him
for the good fight of faith--and comfort the dejected, doubting,
despairing Christian. It abounds with ardent sympathy for the
broken-hearted, a cordial suited to every wounded conscience;
while, at the same time, it thunders in awful judgment upon the
impenitent and the hypocritical professor: wonders of grace to
God belong, for all these blessings form but a small part of the
unsearchable riches.

The reader should keep in his recollection, that this treatise was
originally conceived for the pulpit; and afterwards, probably with
great additions, written for the press. This will account for the
divisions and sub-divisions, intended to assist a hearer's memory;
or to enable a ready writer, by taking notes of each part, to digest
prayerfully in private, what he had heard in the public ministry
of the word,--a practice productive of great good to individuals,
and by which families may be much profited while conversing upon
the truths publicly taught in the church; instead of what Bunyan
would have justly called, frothy conversation about the dress or
appearances of their fellow-worshippers.

This discourse has been published in every edition of the works of
our great author, but, most strangely, the references to Scripture
are omitted in all the editions since that of 1737. Bunyan's anxiety
at every step of this momentous inquiry is to shew a "thus saith
the Lord," in proof of every assertion. In this treatise only,
there are nearly four hundred and forty distinct references to
the holy oracles. These are all carefully restored, and have been
collated with the standard text, for want of which some imperfections
had crept in, even to the old editions; and where the author
preferred the Genevan or Puritan version, it is shewn by a note
at the foot of the page.

To point out beauties in such a discourse, is to point to the
whole treatise--it is all admirable; a solemn earnestness is found
in every sentence; even where Bunyan modestly differs with many
excellent divines, when treating upon the sufferings of the Saviour,
between the period of his crucifixion and of his resurrection:
this is worthy of our prayerful consideration; ever keeping
in remembrance those deeply impressive--those awfully triumphant
words of our Lord, "It is finished."

The catholic spirit, which so pervaded the mind of Bunyan, appears
conspicuously in this discourse; and whatever bitter controversy
this spirit occasioned him, it ought to be impressed upon the
heart of every Christian professor. It is a liberality which shines
more brightly, as reflected by one, whose religious education was
drawn solely from the pure fountain of truth--the holy oracles; and
however unlettered he was, as to polite literature or the learned
languages, his Christian liberality can no more be enlightened by
the niggard spirit of learned sectarians, than the sun could be
illuminated by a rush-light. The inquiry was then, as, alas, it
is too frequent now, Are there many that be saved? forgetful of
the Saviour's answer and just rebuke, What is that to thee, follow
thou me, seek thine own salvation. The inquiry is pursued a step
farther, "Can those who differ with me be saved?" Hear the reply
of one so honest and so fully imbued with the Scriptures, into
the truths of which his spirit had been baptized, "A man, through
unbelief, may think that Christ has no love to him; and yet Christ
may love him, with a love that passeth knowledge. But when men, in
the common course of their profession, will be always terminating
here, that they know how, and how far, Christ can love; and will
thence be bold to conclude of their own safety, and of the loss
and ruin of all that are not in the same notions, opinions,
formalities, or judgment, as they. This is the worst [pride] and
greatest of all [delusions]. The text, therefore, to rectify those
false and erroneous conclusions, says, [the love of Christ] is a
love that passeth knowledge."

Throughout the whole, there is a continued effort to comfort the
sincere, but doubting, Christian. "Does Satan suggest that God
will not hear your stammering and chattering prayers? Does Satan
suggest that thy trials, and troubles, and afflictions, are so
many that you shall never get beyond them?--relief is at hand,
for Christ loves thee with a love that passeth knowledge. This is
a weapon that will baffle the devil, when all other weapons fail."

The practical application of these soul-encouraging truths is, "To
walk in love--filled with all the fullness of God." Bunyan has,
in enforcing this duty, a very remarkable expression, "these are
the men that sweeten the churches, and bring glory to God and to
religion. Why should anything have my heart but God, but Christ?
He loves me, he loves me with love that passeth knowledge, and
I will love him. His love stripped him of all for my sake; Lord,
let my love strip me of all for thy sake. I am a son of love, an
object of love, a monument of love; of free love, of distinguishing
love, of peculiar love, and of love that passeth knowledge: and
why should not I walk in love--in love to God, in love to man, in
holy love, in love unfeigned?"

And will our ministering elders bear with me in respectfully and
affectionately commending to them John Bunyan, as an example of
devotedness to his Master's service; of humble walking with God,
of tender faithfulness to the souls of men, of holy fervour?
Under such a course of sermons as this treatise would make, how
attentively would our children listen with reverence to the voice
of truth, and with a Divine blessing our earthen vessels would be
replenished with heavenly treasure. It is delightful to read the
testimony of Bunyan's ministerial friends, of various denominations,
when recording his extensive usefulness. His works do follow him.
And upon reading of them, we cannot wonder when we hear, that on
a week-day morning, in the depth of winter, long before daylight,
the inclemency of frost and snow was braved by crowded assemblies
of hungry and thirsty souls, who eagerly listened to hear him
proclaim "The Saints' Knowledge of Christ's Love, or the unsearchable
riches of Christ--which passeth knowledge."

May the effectual blessing of the Holy Spirit attend the reading,
as it did the preaching, of these soul-saving truths.

HACKNEY, Oct., 1848. GEO. OFFOR.



THE SAINTS' KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST'S LOVE.

"THAT YE--MAY BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND WITH ALL SAINTS, WHAT IS THE
BREADTH, AND LENGTH, AND DEPTH, AND HEIGHT; AND TO KNOW THE LOVE
OF CHRIST, WHICH PASSETH KNOWLEDGE."--EPHESIANS 3:18,19.

The Apostle having, in the first chapter, treated of the doctrine
of election, and in the second, of the reconciling of the Gentiles
with the Jews to the Father, by his Son, through the preaching of
the gospel; comes in the third chapter to shew that that also was,
as that of election, determined before the world began. Now lest
the afflictions that attend the gospel should, by its raging
among these Ephesians, darken the glory of these things unto them;
therefore he makes here a brief repetition and explanation, to
the end they might be supported and made live above them. He also
joins thereto a fervent prayer for them, that God would let them
see in the spirit and faith, how they, by God and by Christ, are
secured from the evil of the worst that might come upon them.
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named;
that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to
be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that
Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted
and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints,
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to
know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge," &c. Knowing,
that their deep understanding what good by these were reserved for
them, they would never be discouraged, whatever troubles should
attend their profession.

BREADTH, and LENGTH, and DEPTH, and HEIGHT, are words that
in themselves are both ambiguous, and to wonderment; ambiguous,
because unexplained, and to wonderment, because they carry in
them an unexpressible something; and that something that which
far out-goes all those things that can be found in this world. The
Apostle here was under a spiritual surprise, for while meditating
and writing, he was caught: The strength and glory of the truths
that he was endeavouring to fasten upon the people to whom he
wrote, took him away into their glory, beyond what could to the
full be uttered. Besides, many times things are thus expressed, on
purpose to command attention, a stop and pause in the mind about
them; and to divert, by their greatness, the heart from the world,
unto which they naturally are so inclined. Also, truths are often
delivered to us, like wheat in full ears, to the end we should rub
them out before we eat them, and take pains about them, before we
have the comfort of them.

BREADTH, LENGTH, DEPTH, and HEIGHT. In my attempting to open these
words, I will give you, some that are of the same kind. And then
show you, First, The reasons of them; and then also, Secondly,
Something of their fullness.

Those of the same kind, are used sometimes to shew us the power,
force, and subtilty of the enemies of God's Church, (Dan 4:11,
Rom 8:38,39). But,

[Sometimes] Most properly to shew us the infinite and unsearchable
greatness of God, (Job 11:7,8,9, Rom 11:33).

They are here to be taken in this second sense, that is, to suggest
unto us the unsearchable and infinite greatness of God; who is
a breadth, beyond all breadths; a length, beyond all lengths; a
depth, beyond all depths; and a height, beyond all heights, and
that in all his attributes: He is an eternal being, an everlasting
being, and in that respect he is beyond all measures, whether
they be of breadth, or length, or depth, or height. In all his
attributes he is beyond all measure: whether you measure by words,
by thoughts, or by the most enlarged and exquisite apprehension;
His greatness is unsearchable; His judgments are unsearchable (Job
5:9): He is infinite in wisdom. "O! the depth of the riches both
of the wisdom and knowledge of God!" (Rom 11:33) "If I speak of
strength, lo, he is strong" (Job 9:19); yea, "the thunder of his
power who can understand?" (Job 26:14) "There is none holy as the
Lord" (1 Sam 2:2): "and his mercy is from everlasting to everlasting,
upon them that fear him" (Psa 103:17). The greatness of God, of
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is that, if rightly
considered, which will support the spirits of those of his people
that are frighted with the greatness of their adversaries. For
here is a greatness against a greatness. Pharaoh was great, but
God more great, more great in power, more great in wisdom, more
great every way for the help of his people; wherein they dealt
proudly, he was above them. These words therefore take in for this
people, the great God who in his immensity and infinite greatness
is beyond all beings. But, to come

FIRST, to the reason of the words. They are made use of to shew
to the Ephesians, that God with what he is in himself, and with
what he hath in his power, is all for the use and profit of the
believers. Else no great matter is held out to them thereby. "But
this God is our God!" there is the comfort: For this cause therefore
he presenteth them with this description of him. To wit, by breadth,
and length, and depth, and height: As who should say, the High
God is yours; the God that fills heaven and earth is yours; the
God whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, is yours; yea, the
God whose works are wonderful, and whose ways are past finding
out, is yours. Consider therefore the greatness that is for you,
that taketh part with you, and that will always come in for your
help against them that contend with you. It is my support, it is
my relief; it [is] my comfort in all my tribulations, and I would
have it ours, and so it will when we live in the lively faith
thereof. Nor should we admit of distrust in this matter from
the consideration of our own unworthiness, either taken from the
finiteness of our state, or the foulness of our ways (Psa 46).
For now, though God's attributes, several of them in their own
nature, are set against sin and sinners; yea, were we righteous,
are so high that needs they must look over us, for 'tis to him a
condescension to behold things in heaven: How much more then to
open his eyes upon such as we: yet by the passion of Jesus Christ,
they harmoniously agree in the salvation of our souls. Hence God
is said to be love (1 John 4), God is love; might some say, and
justice too: but his justice is turned with wisdom, power, holiness
and truth, to love; yea, to love those that be found in his Son:
forasmuch as there is nothing fault-worthy in his righteousness
which is put upon us. So then, as there is in God's nature
a length, and breadth, and depth, and height, that is beyond all
that we can think: So we should conclude that all this is love to
us, for Christ's sake; and then dilate with it thus in our minds,
and enlarge it thus in our meditations; saying still to our low
and trembling spirits: "It is high as heaven; what canst thou do?
deeper than hell; what canst thou know? the measure thereof is
longer than the earth, and1 broader than the sea" (Job 11:8,9).
But we will pass generals, and more particularly speak

SECONDLY, something of their fullness, as they are fitted to suit
and answer to the whole state and condition of a Christian in this
life. The words are boundless; we have here a breadth, a length,
a depth, and height made mention of; but what breadth, what length,
what depth, what height is not so much as hinted. It is therefore
infiniteness suggested to us, and that has engaged for us. For the
Apostle conjoins therein, And to know the love of Christ which
passeth knowledge. Thus therefore it suits and answers a Christian's
condition, while in this world, let that be what it will. If his
afflictions be broad, here is a breadth; if they be long, here
is a length,; and if they be deep, here is a depth; and if they
be high, here is a height. And I will say, there is nothing that
is more helpful, succouring, or comfortable to a Christian while
in a state of trial and temptation, than to know that there is a
breadth to answer a breadth, a length to answer a length, a depth
to answer a depth, and a height to answer a height. Wherefore this
is it that the Apostle prayeth for, namely, that the Ephesians
might have understanding in these things, "That ye may know what
is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height."

Of the largeness of the Apostle's heart in praying for this people,
to wit, "That they might be able to comprehend with all saints,
what," &c. of that we shall speak afterwards.

But first, to speak to these four expressions, breadth, length,
depth, and height.

First, What is the BREADTH. This word is to shew, that God is
all over, everywhere, spreading of his wings, stretching out his
goodness to the utmost bounds, for the good of those that are his
people (Deu 32:11,12, Gen 49:26).

In the sin of his people there is a breadth; a breadth that spreadeth
over all, wheresoever a man shall look. The sin of the saints is
a spreading leprosy (Lev 13:12). Sin is a scab that spreadeth;
it is a spreading plague; it knows no bounds (Lev 13:8, 57): or,
as David saith, "I have seen the wicked spreading himself" (Psa
37:35). Hence it is compared to a cloud, to a thick cloud, that
covereth or spreadeth over the face of all the sky. Wherefore here
is a breadth called for, a breadth that can cover all, or else
what is done is to no purpose. Therefore to answer this, here we
have a breadth, a spreading breadth; "I spread my skirt over thee":
But how far? Even so far as to cover all. "I spread my skirt over
thee, and covered thy nakedness" (Eze 16:8). Here now is a breadth
according to the spreading nature of the sin of this wretched one;
yea, a super-abounding spreading; a spreading beyond; a spreading
to cover. "Blessed is he whose sin is covered" (Psa 32:1), whose
spreading sin is covered by the mercy of God through Christ (Rom
4:4-7). This is the spreading cloud, whose spreadings none can
understand (Job 36:29). "He spread a cloud for a covering, and
fire to give light in the night" (Psa 105:39).

This breadth that is in God, it also overmatcheth that spreading
and overspreading rage of men, that is sometimes as if it would
swallow up the whole church of God. You read of the rage of the
king of Assyria, that there was a breadth in it, an overflowing
breadth, to the filling of "the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel"
(Isa 8:8). But what follows? "Associate yourselves, O ye people,
[ye Assyrians] and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear,
all ye of far countries; gird yourselves and ye shall be broken
in pieces. Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought;
speak the word, and it shall not stand, for God is with us" (Isa
8:8-10); God will over-match and go beyond you.

Wherefore this word, breadth, and what is the breadth: It is here
expressed on purpose to succour and relieve, or to shew what
advantage, for support, the knowledge of the overspreading grace of
God by Christ yieldeth unto those that have it, let their trials
be what they will. Alas! the sin of God's children seemeth sometimes
to overspread not only their flesh, and the face of their souls,
but the whole face of heaven. And what shall he do now, that is
a stranger to this breadth, made mention of in the text? Why he
must despair, lie down and die, and shut up his heart against all
comfort, unless he, with his fellow-christians, can, at least,
apprehend what is this breadth, or the breadth of mercy intended
in this place. Therefore Paul for the support of the Ephesians,
prays, that they may know "what is the breadth."

This largeness of the heart and mercy of God towards his people,
is also signified by the spreading out of his hand to us in the
invitations of the gospel. "I said," saith he, "Behold me, behold
me,--I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious
people.--to a people that provoketh me continually" (Isa 65:1-3).

I have spread out my hands, that is, opened my arms as a mother
affectionately doth, when she stoopeth to her child in the warm
workings of her bowels, and claspeth it up in them, and kisseth,
and putteth it into her bosom.

For, by spreading out the hands or arms to embrace, is shewed the
breadth or largeness of God's affections; as by our spreading out
our hands in prayer, is signified the great sense that we have of
the spreading nature of our sins, and of the great desires that
are in us, that God would be merciful to us (Ezra 9:5-7).

This word also answereth to, or may fitly be set against the
wiles and temptations of the devil, who is that great and dogged
Leviathan, that spreadeth his "sharp-pointed things upon the mire"
(Job 41:30): For, be the spreading nature of our corruptions never
so broad, he will find sharp-pointed things enough to stick in
the mire of them, for our affliction. These sharp-pointed things
are those that in another place are called "fiery darts" (Eph 6:16),
and he has abundance of them, with which he can and will sorely
prick and wound our spirits: Yea, so sharp some have found these
things to their souls, that they have pierced beyond expression.
"When," said Job, "I say, my bed shall comfort me, my couch shall
ease my complaint; then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest
me through visions; so that my soul chooseth strangling, and
death rather than my life" (Job 7:13-15). But now, answerable to
the spreading of these sharp-pointed things, there is a super-abounding
breadth in the sovereign grace of God, the which whoso seeth and
understandeth, as the Apostle doth pray we should, is presently
helped: for he seeth that this grace spreadeth itself, and is
broader than can be, either our mire, or the sharp-pointed things
that he spreadeth thereupon for our vexation and affliction: "It
is broader than the sea" (Job 11:9).

This therefore should be that upon which those that see the
spreading nature of sin, and the leprosy and contagion thereof,
should meditate, to wit, The broadness of the grace and mercy
of God in Christ. This will poise and stay the soul; this will
relieve and support the soul in and under those many misgiving
and desponding thoughts unto which we are subject when afflicted
with the apprehensions of sin, and the abounding nature of it.

Shall another man pray for this, one that knew the goodness and
benefit of it, and shall not I meditate upon it? and shall not I
exercise my mind about it? Yes surely, for it is my duty, it is my
privilege and mercy so to do. Let this therefore, when thou seest
the spreading nature of thy sin be a memento to thee, to the end
thou mayest not sink and die in thy soul.

Secondly, What is the breadth and LENGTH. As there is a breadth
in this mercy and grace of God by Christ, so there is a LENGTH
therein, and this length is as large as the breadth, and as much
suiting the condition of the child of God, as the other is. For,
though sin sometimes is most afflicting to the conscience, while
the soul beholdeth the overspreading nature of it, yet here it
stoppeth not, but oft-times through the power and prevalency of
it, the soul is driven with it, as a ship by a mighty tempest, or
as a rolling thing before the whirlwind: driven, I say, from God,
and from all hopes of his mercy, as far as the east is from the
west, or as the ends of the world are asunder. Hence it is supposed
by the prophet, that for and by sin they may be driven from God
to the utmost part of heaven (Deu 30:4); and that is a sad thing,
a sad thing, I say, to a gracious man. "Why," saith the prophet
to God, "Art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of
my roaring?" (Psa 22:1). Sometimes a man, yea, a man of God, is,
as he apprehends, so far off from God, that he can neither help
him, nor hear him, and this is a dismal state. "And thou hast
removed my soul," said the church, "far off from peace: I forgat
prosperity" (Lam 3:17). This is the state sometimes of the
godly, and that not only with reference to their being removed by
persecutors, from the appointments and gospel-seasons, which are
their delight, and the desire of their eyes; but also with reverence
to their faith and hope in their God. They think themselves beyond
the reach of his mercy. Wherefore in answer to this conceit it is,
that the Lord asketh, saying, "Is my hand shortened at all that it
cannot redeem?" (Isa 50:2). And again, "Behold, the Lord's hand
is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that
it cannot hear" (Isa 59:1). Wherefore he saith again, "If any of
them be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence
will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch
thee" (Deu 30:4). God has a long arm, and he can reach a great
way further than we can conceive he can (Neh 1:9): When we think
his mercy is clean gone, and that ourselves are free among the
dead, and of the number that he remembereth no more, then he can
reach us, and cause that again we stand before him. He could reach
Jonah, tho' in the belly of hell (Jonah 2); and reach thee, even
then, when thou thinkest thy way is hid from the Lord, and thy
judgment passed over from thy God. There is length to admiration,
beyond apprehension or belief, in the arm of the strength of the
Lord; and this is that which the Apostle intended by this word,
Length; namely, To insinuate what a reach there is in the mercy
of God, how far it can extend itself. "If I take the wings of the
morning," said David, "and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold
me" (Psa 139:9,10). I will gather them from the east, and from
the west, and from the north, and from the south, saith he: That
is, from the utmost corners.

This therefore should encourage them that for the present cannot
stand, but that do fly before their guilt: Them that feel no help
nor stay, but that go, as to their thinking, every day by the power
of temptation, driven yet farther off from God, and from the hope
of obtaining of his mercy to their salvation; poor creature, I will
not now ask thee how thou camest into this condition, or how long
this has been thy state; but I will say before thee, and I prithee
hear me, O the length of the saving arm of God! As yet thou art
within the reach thereof; do not thou go about to measure arms
with God, as some good men are apt to do: I mean, do not thou
conclude, that because thou canst not reach God by thy short stump,
therefore he cannot reach thee with his long arm. Look again, "Hast
thou an arm like God" (Job 40:9), an arm like his for length and
strength? It becomes thee, when thou canst not perceive that God
is within the reach of thy arm, then to believe that thou art
within the reach of his; for it is long, and none knows how long.

Again, is there such a length? such a length in the arm of the
Lord, that he can reach those that are gone away, as far as they
could? then this should encourage us to pray, and hope for the
salvation of any one of our backslidden relations, that God would
reach out his arm after them: Saying, "Awake,--O arm of the Lord,--art
thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? Art thou
not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep,
that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass
over?" (Isa 51:9,10). Awake, O arm of the Lord, and be stretched
out as far as to where my poor husband is, where my poor child,
or to where my poor backslidden wife or dear relation is, and lay
hold, fast hold; they are gone from thee, but, O thou the hope of
Israel, fetch them again, and let them stand before thee. I say,
here is in this word LENGTH matter of encouragement for us thus
to pray; for if the length of the reach of mercy is so great, and
if also this length is for the benefit of those that may be gone
off far from God, (for they at present have no need thereof that
are near) then improve this advantage at the throne of grace for
such, that they may come to God again. Thirdly, As there is a breadth
and length here, so there is a DEPTH. What is the breadth, and
length, and depth? And this depth is also put in here, on purpose
to help us under a trial that is diverse from the two former. I
told you, that by the breadth the Apostle insinuates a remedy and
succour to us, when we see our corruptions spread like a leprosy;
and by length he would shew us, that when sin has driven God's
elect to the farthest distance from him, yet his arm is long enough
to reach them, and fetch them back again.

But, I say, as we have here a breadth, and a length, so we have
also a depth. That ye may know what is the DEPTH. Christians have
sometimes their sinking fits, and are as if they were always
descending: or as Heman says, "counted with them that go down into
the pit" (Psa 88:4). Now guilt is not to such so much a wind and
a tempest, as a load and burden. The devil, and sin, and the curse
of the law, and death, are gotten upon the shoulders of this poor
man, and are treading of him down, that he may sink into, and be
swallowed up of his miry place.

"I sink," says David, "in deep mire, where there is no standing.
I am come into DEEP waters, where the floods overflow me" (Psa
69:2). Yea, there is nothing more common among the saints of old,
than this complaint: "Let neither the water flood overflow me,
neither let the deep swallow me up, neither let the pit shut her
mouth upon me" (Psa 69:14,15). Heman also saith, "Thou hast laid
me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth
hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves" (Psa
88:6,7). Hence it is again that the Psalmist says: "Deep calleth
unto deep, at the noise of thy water spouts: all thy waves, and
thy billows are gone over me" (Psa 42:7). Deep calleth unto deep:
What's that? Why, it is expressed in the verse before: "O God,"
says he, "My soul is cast down within me." "Down," that is, deep
into the jaws of distrust and fear. And, Lord, my soul in this
depth of sorrow calls for help to thy depth of mercy. For though
I am sinking and going down, yet not so low, but that thy mercy
is yet underneath me: Do of thy compassions open those everlasting
arms (Deu 33:27), and catch him that has no help or stay in himself:
For so it is with one that is falling into a well or a dungeon.

Now mark, as there is in these texts, the sinking condition of
the godly man set forth, of a man whom sin and Satan is treading
down into the deep; so in our text which I am speaking to at this
time, we have a depth that can more than counterpoise these deeps,
set forth with a hearty prayer, that we may know it. And although
the deeps, or depths of calamity into which the godly may fall,
may be as deep as Hell, and methinks they should be no deeper:
yet this is the comfort, and for the comfort of them of the godly
that are thus a sinking: The mercy of God for them lies deeper "It
is deeper than hell, what canst thou know?" (Job 11:8). And this
is that which made Paul that he was not afraid of this depth, "I
am persuaded," saith he, "that neither--height nor depth shall
be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord" (Rom 8:38,39). But of this he could by no means
have been persuaded, had he not believed that mercy lieth deeper
for the godly to help them, than can all other depths be to destroy
them: This is it at which he stands and wonders, saying, "O the
depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God" (Rom
11:33), that is to find out a way to save his people, notwithstanding
all the deep contrivances that the enemy hath, and may invent to
make us come short [of] home.

This is also that, as I take it, which is wrapped up in the blessing,
wherewith Jacob blessed his son Joseph. "God shall bless thee,"
saith he, "with blessings of heaven above," and with the "blessings
of the deep that lieth under" (Gen 49:25). A blessing which he had
ground to pronounce, as well from his observation of God's good
dealing with Joseph, as in a spirit of prophecy: For he saw that
he lived and was become a flourishing bough, by a wall, after that
the archers had done their worst to him (Gen 49:22-24). Moses also
blesseth God for blessing of Joseph thus, and blessed his portion
to him, as counting of it sufficient for his help in all afflictions.
"Blessed," saith he, "of the Lord, be his land, for the precious
things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth
beneath" (Deu 33:13).

I am not of belief that these blessings are confined to things
temporal, or carnal, but to things spiritual and divine; and that
they have most chiefly respect to soul, and eternal good. Now
mark, he tells us here, that the blessings of the deep, do couch
beneath. Couch, that is, lie close, so as hardly to be discerned by
him that willingly would see that himself is not below these arms
that are beneath him. But that as I said, is hard to be discerned
by him that thus is sinking, and that has as he now smartingly
feels, all God's waves, and his billows rolling over him. However,
whether he sees or not, for this blessing lieth couched; yet
there it is, and there will be, though one should sink as deep as
hell: And hence they are said to be "everlasting arms" that are
"underneath" (Deu 33:27): That is, arms that are long and strong,
and that can reach to the bottom, and also beyond, of all misery
and distress, that Christians are subject to in this life. Indeed
mercy seems to be asleep, when we are sinking: for then we are
as if all things were careless of us, but it is but as a lion
couchant, it will awake in time for our help (Psa 44:22,26, Mark
4:36-39). And forasmuch as this term is it, which is applicable
to the lion in his den; it may be to shew that as a lion, so will
God at the fittest season, arise for the help and deliverance of
a sinking people. Hence when he is said to address himself to the
delivering of his people, it is that he comes as a roaring lion.
"The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy
like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail
against his enemies" (Isa 42:13). However here is a depth against
the depth that's against us, let that depth be what it will. As
let it be the depth of misery, the depth of mercy is sufficient.
If it be the depth of hellish policy, the depth both of the wisdom
and knowledge of God shall go beyond it, and prevail.

This therefore is worthy of the consideration of all sinking souls;
of the souls that feel themselves descending into the pit. There
is such a thing as this experienced among the godly. Some come to
them (when tempted) when you will, they will tell you, they have
no ground to stand on, their feet have slipped, their foundation is
removed, and they fell themselves sinking, as into a pit that has
no bottom (Psa 11:3). They inwardly sink, not for want of something
to relieve the body, but for want of some spiritual cordial to
support the mind. "I went down to the bottoms of the mountains,"
said Jonah, "the earth with her bars was about me for ever;--my
soul fainted within me" (Jonah 2:6,7).

Now for such to consider that underneath them, even at the bottom
there lieth a blessing, or that in this deep whereinto they are
descending, there lieth a delivering mercy couching to catch them,
and to save them from sinking for ever, this would be relief unto
them, and help them to hope for good.

Again, As this, were it well considered by the sinking ones, would
yield them stay and relief, so this is it by the virtue whereof,
they that have been sinking heretofore, have been lifted up, and
above their castings down again. There are of those that have been
in the pit, now upon mount Sion, with the harps of God in their
hands, and with the song of the Lamb in their mouths. But how is
it that they are there? why, David, by his own deliverance shews
you the reason. "For great is thy mercy towards me," saith he,
"and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell" (Psa 86:13).
And again, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit," (a pit
of noise, a pit wherein was the noise of devils, and of my heart
answering them with distrust and fear) "out of the miry clay,"
(into which I did not only sink, but was by it held from getting
up: but he brought me up) "and set my feet upon a rock, and
established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth,
even praise to our God" (Psa 40:2,3).

But let me here give, if it may be, a timely caution to them that
think they stand upon their feet. Give not way to falling because
everlasting arms are underneath, take heed of that: God can let
thee fall into mischief, he can let thee fall, and not help thee
up. Tempt not God, lest he cast thee away indeed. I doubt there
are many that have presumed upon this mercy, that thus do couch
beneath, and have cast themselves down from their pinnacles into
vanity, of a vain conceit that they shall be lifted up again: whom
yet God will leave to die there, because their fall was rather
of willfulness, than weakness, and of stubbornness, and desperate
resolutions, than for want of means and helps to preserve them
from it.

Fourthly, As there is a breadth, and length, and depth, in this
mercy and grace of God through Christ towards his people: So there
is also a HEIGHT, "That ye may comprehend with all saints, what is
the breadth and length, and depth, and HEIGHT." There are things
that are high, as well as things that are low; things that are
above us, as well as things that are under, that are distressing
to God's people. It is said when Noah was a preacher of righteousness,
there were giants in the earth in those days (Gen 6:4). And these,
as I conceive, were some of the heights that were set against Noah;
yea, they were the very dads and fathers of all that monstrous
brood that followed in the world in that day. Of this sort were
they who so frighted, and terrified Israel, when they were to go
to inherit the land of promise. The men that were tall as cedars,
and strong as the oaks, frighted them: they were in their own
sight, when compared with these high ones, but as grasshoppers.
This therefore was their discouragement (Num 13:31-33, Deu 2:10,
9:2).

Besides, together with these, they had high walls, walls as high
as heaven; and these walls were of purpose to keep Israel out of
his possession. See how it is expressed: The people is greater
and taller than we, the cities are great and walled up to heaven:
and moreover, we have seen the sons of the Anakims there (Deu
1:28). One of these, to wit, Goliath by name, how did he fright
the children of Israel in the days of Saul! How did the appearance
of him, make them scuttle together on heaps before him (1 Sam 17).
By these giants, and by these high walls, God's children to this
day are sorely distressed, because they stand in the cross ways
to cut off Israel from his possession.

But now to support us against all these, and to encourage us to
take heart notwithstanding all these things; there is for us, a
height in God. He hath made his Son higher than the kings of the
earth (Psa 89:26-28): His word also is settled for ever in heaven,
and therefore must needs be higher than their walls (Psa 119:89):
He also saith in another place, "If thou seest the oppression
of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in
a province, marvel not at the matter; for he that is higher than
the highest, regardeth, and there be higher than they" (Eccl
5:8). 'Twas this that made Paul, that he feared not the height:
not things present, nor things to come (Rom 8:39).

But again, As there are these things standing, or lying in our
way: So there are another sort of heights that are more mischievous
than these: And they are the fallen angels. These are called spiritual
wickedness, or wicked spirits, in high places (Eph 6:12): For God
has suffered them for a time to take to themselves principality
and power, and so they are become the rulers of the darkness of
this world. By these we are tempted, sifted, threatened, opposed,
undermined: also by these there are snares, pits, holes, and what
not made and laid for us, if peradventure by something we may be
destroyed. Yea, and we should most certainly be so, were it not
for the rock that is higher than they. "But he that cometh from
heaven is above all!" (John 3:31) These are they that our king
has taken captive, and hath rid (in his chariots of salvation)
in triumph over their necks. These are they, together with all
others, whose most devilish designs he can wield, and turn and
make work together for his ransomed's advantage (Rom 8:28), There
is a height, an infinitely overtopping height in the mercy and
goodness of God for us, against them.

There are heights also that build up themselves in us, which are
not but to be taken notice of: Yea, there are a many of them, and
they place themselves directly so, that if possible they may keep
the saving knowledge of God out of our hearts. These high things
therefore are said to exalt themselves against the knowledge of God
(2 Cor 10:5): and do ofttimes more plague, afflict, and frighten
Christian men and women, than any thing besides. It is from these
that our faith and spiritual understanding of God and his Christ
is opposed and contradicted, and from these also that we are so
inclinable to swerve from right doctrine into destructive opinions.
'Tis from these that we are so easily persuaded to call into
question our former experience of the goodness of God towards us,
and from these that our minds are so often clouded and darkened
that we cannot see afar off. These would betray us into the hands
of fallen angels, and men, nor should we by any means help or
deliver ourselves, were it not for one that is higher. These are
the dark mountains at which our feet would certainly stumble, and
upon which we should fall, were it not for one who can leap and
skip over these mountains of division, and come in to us (Song
2:8,17).

Further, There is a height also that is obvious to our senses, the
which when it is dealt withal by our corrupted reason, proves a
great shaking to our mind, and that is the height, and exceeding
distance that heaven is off of us, and we off it. "Is not God in
the height of heaven? and behold the height of the stars, how high
they are?" (Job 22:12) Hence heaven is called the place for height
(Prov 25:3), Also when Ahaz is bid to ask with reference to heaven,
he is bid to ask it, In the height, the height above (Isa 7:11).
Now saith reason, how shall I come thither? especially when a good
man is at his furthest distance therefore: which is, when he is
in the grave. Now I say, every height is a difficulty to him that
is loaden with a burden, especially the heaven of heavens, where
God is, and where is the resting-place of his, to them that are
oppressed with the guilt of sin. And besides, the dispensation which
happeneth to us last, to wit, death, as I said before, makes this
heaven, in my thoughts while I live so much the more unaccessible.
Christ indeed could mount up (Acts 1:9), but me, poor me, how
shall I get thither? Elias indeed had a chariot sent him to ride
in thither, and went up by it into that holy place (2 Kings 2:11):
but I, poor I, how shall I get thither? Enoch is there, because
God took him (Gen 5:24), but as for me, how shall I get thither?
Thus some have mourningly said. And although distrust of the power
of God, as to the accomplishing of this thing, is by no means to
be smiled upon, yet methinks the unconcernedness of professors
thereabout, doth argue that considering thoughts about that, are
wanting.

I know the answer is ready. Get Christ and go to heaven. But
methinks the height of the place, and the glory of the state that
we are to enjoy therein, should a little concern us, at least
so as to make us wonder in our thinking, that the time is coming
that we must mount up thither. And since there are so many heights
between this place, between us, and that; it should make us admire
at the heights of the grace and mercy of God, by which, means is
provided to bring us thither. And I believe that this thing, this
very thing, is included here by the Apostle when he prays for the
Ephesians, that they might know the height.

Methinks, How shall we get thither will still stick in my mind.
"I will ascend," says one, "above the height of the clouds, I will
be like the most High" (Isa 14:14). And I, says another, will set
my nest among the stars of heaven (Oba 4). Well, but what of all
this? If heaven has gates, and they shall be shut, how wilt thou
go in thither? Though such should climb up to heaven, from thence
will God bring them down (Amos 9:2), Still I say, therefore, how
shall we get in thither? Why, for them that are godly, there is
the power of God, the merits of Christ, the help of angels, and
the testimony of a good conscience to bring them thither; and he
that has not the help of all these, let him do what he can, shall
never come thither. Not that all these go to the making up of the
height that is intended in the text: for the height there, is
what is in God through Christ to us alone. But the angels are the
servants of God for that end (Luke 16:22, Heb 1:14): and none with
ill consciences enter in thither (Psa 15:1, 24:3,4), What, "know
ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
be not deceived" (1 Cor 6:9), such have none inheritance in the
kingdom of Christ and of God (Eph 5:5).

This then should teach us that in God is a power that is able to
subdue all things to himself. In the completing of many things,
there seems to be an utter impossibility, as that a virgin should
conceive in her womb, as a virgin, and bring a Son into the world;
that the body that is turned into dust, should arise and ascend
into the highest heaven (Phil 3:21). These things with many more
seem to be utterly impossible: but there is that which is called
the power of God, by the which he is able to make all things
bend to his will, and to make all obstructions give place to what
he pleases. God is high above all things and can do whatever it
pleaseth him. But since he can do so, why doth he suffer this,
and that thing to appear, to act, and do so horribly repugnant to
his word? I answer, he admits of many things, to the end he may
shew his wrath, and make his power known; and that all the world
may see how he checks and overrules the most vile and unruly
things, and can make them subservient to his holy will. And how
would the breadth and the length, and the depth, and the height
of the love and mercy of God in Christ to us-ward, be made to
appear, so as in all things it doth, were there not admitted that
there should be breadths, and lengths, and depths and heights, to
oppose. Wherefore these oppositions are therefore suffered, that
the greatness of the wisdom, the power, the mercy, and grace of
God to us in Christ might appear and be made manifest unto us.

This calls therefore upon Christians, wisely to consider of the
doings of their God. How many opposite breadths, and lengths, and
depths, and heights did Israel meet with in their journey from
Egypt to Canaan, and all to convince them of their own weakness,
and also of the power of their God. And they that did wisely consider
of his doings there, did reap the advantage thereof. Come, behold
the works of the Lord towards me, may every Christian say. He hath
set a Saviour against sin; a heaven against a hell; light against
darkness; good against evil, and the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height of the grace that is in himself, for my good,
against all the power, and strength, and force, and subtilty, of
every enemy.

This also, as I hinted but just before, shews both the power of
them that hate us, and the inability of us to resist. The power
that is set against us none can crush, and break, but God: for it
is the power of devils, of sin, of death, and hell. But we for our
parts are crushed before the moth: being a shadow, a vapour, and
a wind that passes away (Job 4:19). Oh! how should we, and how would
we, were but our eyes awake, stand and wonder at the preservations,
the deliverances, the salvations and benefits with which we are
surrounded daily: while so many mighty evils seek daily to swallow
us up, as the grave. See how the golden psalm of David reads
it. "Be merciful unto me, O God; for man would swallow me up; he
fighting daily oppresseth me. Mine enemies would daily swallow
me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most high"
(Psa 56:1,2). This is at the beginning of it. And he concludes
it thus, "Thou hast delivered my soul from death: will not thou
deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the
light of the living" (verse 13).

By this also we see the reason why it is so impossible for man or
angel to persuade unbelievers to come in to, and close with Christ;
why there is a breadth that they cannot get over, a length that
they cannot get beyond, a depth that they cannot pass, and heights
that so hinder them of the prospect of glory, and the way thereto,
that they cannot be allured thither. And that nothing can remove
these; but those that are in God, and that are opposite thereto;
even the breadth, and length, and depth and height that is in
the text expressed, is to all awakened men an undoubted truth. 2

One item I would here give to him that loveth his own soul, and
then we will pass on in pursuance of what is to come. Since there
is an height obvious to sense, and that that height must be overcome
ere a man can enter into life eternal: let thy heart be careful
that thou go the right way to overpass this height, that thou
mayest not miss of the delectable plains, and the pleasures that are
above. Now, there is nothing so high, as to overtop this height;
but Jacob's ladder, and that can do it: that ladder, when the foot
thereof doth stand upon the earth, reacheth with its top to the
gate of heaven. This is the ladder by which angels ascend thither:
and this is the ladder by which thou mayest ascend thither. "And
he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top
of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending
and descending on it" (Gen 28:12).

This ladder is Jesus Christ, the son of man, as is clear by the
evangelist John (John 1:51). And in that it is said to stand upon
the earth, that is to shew that he took hold of man who is of the
earth, and therein laid a foundation for his salvation: in that
it is said the top reached up to heaven, that is to shew that the
divine nature was joined to the human, and by that means he was
every way made a Saviour complete. Now concerning this ladder,
'tis said, Heaven was open where it stood, to shew that by him
there is entrance into life: 'tis said also concerning this ladder,
that the Lord stood there, at the top, above it: saying, "I am the
Lord God of Abraham" (Gen 28:13), to shew his hearty and willing
reception of those that ascend the height of his sanctuary this
way. All which Christ further explains by saying, "I am the way,
and the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the father, but
by me" (John 14:6). Look to thyself then, that thou do truly and
after the right manner embrace this ladder, so will he draw thee
up thither after him (John 12:32). All the rounds of this ladder
are sound and fitly placed, not one of them is set further than
that by faith thou mayest ascend step by step unto, even until
thou shalt come to the highest step thereof, from whence, or by
which thou mayest step in at the celestial gate where thy soul
desireth to dwell.

Take my caution then, and be wary, no man can come thither but by
him. Thither I say to be accepted: thither, there to dwell, and
there to abide with joy for ever.

"That ye--may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love
of Christ which passeth knowledge."

Having thus spoke of the breadth, and length, and depth, and
height, that is in God's mercy by Christ to us-ward; we will now
come more directly to

THE PRAYER OF THE APOSTLE FOR THESE EPHESIANS, WITH REFERENCE
THEREUNTO; to wit, that they might be able to comprehend with all
saints what they are. And

FIRST, As to THE ABILITY that he prays for, to the end that they
may be capable to do this thing.

First, That ye may be able. The weakness that is here supposed to
hinder their thus comprehending, &c., did doubtless lie in their
grace, as well as their nature: for in both, with reference to
them that are Christians, there is great disability, unless they be
strengthened mightily by the Holy Ghost. Nature's ability depends
upon graces, and the ability of graces, depends upon the mighty
help of the spirit of God. Hence as nature itself, where grace
is not, sees nothing; so nature by grace sees but weakly, if that
grace is not strengthened with all might by the spirit of grace.
The breadths, lengths, depths and heights here made mention of,
are mysteries, and in all their operations, do work wonderfully
mysteriously: insomuch that many times, though they are all of
them busily engaged for this and the other child of God, yet they
themselves see nothing of them. As Christ said to Peter, "What I
do thou knowest not now" (John 13:7); so may it be said to many
where the grace and mercy of God in Christ is working: they do not
know, they understand not what it is, nor what will be the end of
such dispensations of God towards them. Wherefore they also say as
Peter to Christ, "Dost thou wash my feet?--thou shalt never wash
my feet" (John 13:6-8); Yea, and when some light to convince of
this folly breaks in upon them, yet if it be not very distinct and
clear; causing the person to know the true cause, nature, and end
of God's doing of this or that, they swerve with Peter, as much
on the other side (John 13:9,10). They have not known my ways, and
my methods with them in this world, were that that caused Israel
always to err in their hearts (Heb 3:10), and lie cross to all,
and each of these breadths, lengths, depths, and heights, whenever
they were under the exercise of any of them in the wilderness.

And the reason is, as I said before, for that they are very
mysterious in their workings. For they work by, upon, and against
oppositions; for, and in order to the help and salvation of his
people. Also (as was hinted a while since) that the power and
glory of this breadth, and length, &c. of the mercy and grace of
God, may the more shew its excellency and sufficiency as to our
deliverance; we by him seem quite to be delivered up to the breadths,
lengths, and depths, and heights that oppose, and that utterly seek
our ruin: wherefore at such times, nothing of breadths, lengths,
depths, or heights can be seen, save by those that are very well
skilled in those mysterious methods of God, in his gracious actings
towards his people. "Who will bring me into the strong city,"
and "wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O
God, which didst not go out with our armies?" (Psa 60:9,10) is a
lesson too hard for every Christian man to say over believingly.
And what was it that made Jonah say, when he was in the belly of
hell, "Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple" (Jonah 2:4),
but the good skill that he had in understanding of the mystery of
these breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights of God, and
of the way of his working by them. Read the text at large. "Thou
hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas, and the
floods compassed me about. All thy billows and thy waves passed
over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look
again toward thy holy temple" (Jonah 2:3,4).

These, and such like sentences, are easily played with by a
preacher, when in the pulpit, specially if he has a little of the
notion of things, but of the difficulty and strait, that those
are brought into, out of whose mouth such things, or words are
extorted, by reason of the force of the labyrinths they are fallen
into: of those they experience nothing, wherefore to those they
are utterly strangers.

He then that is able to comprehend with all saints what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height; must be a good expositor
of providences, and must see the way, and the workings of God by
them. Now there are providences of two sorts, seemingly good, and
seemingly bad, and those do usually as Jacob did, when he blessed
the sons of Joseph, cross hands; and lay the blessing where we
would not. "And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right
hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him" (Gen 48:17). I
say there are providences unto which we would have the blessings
entailed, but they are not. And they are providences that smile
upon the flesh; to wit, such as cast into the lap, health, wealth,
plenty, ease, friends, and abundance of this world's good: because
these, [Manasseh, as his name doth signify,] have in them an aptness
to make us forget our toil, our low estate, and from whence we
were (Gen 41:51): but the great blessing is not in them. There are
providences again, that take away from us whatever is desirable
to the flesh; such is the sickness, losses, crosses, persecution
and affliction; and usually in these though they make us shuck 3
whenever they come upon us, blessing coucheth, and is ready to help
us. For God, as the name of Ephraim signifies, makes us "fruitful
in the land of our affliction" (Gen 41:52). He therefore, in blessing
of his people, lays his hands across, guiding them wittingly, and
laying the chiefest blessing on the head of Ephraim, or in that
providence, that sanctifies affliction. Abel! what, to the reason
of Eve was he, in comparison of Cain. Rachel called Benjamin the
son of her sorrow: but Jacob knew how to give him a better name
(Gen 35:18). Jabez also, though his mother so called him, because,
as it seems, she brought him forth with more than ordinary sorrow,
was yet more honourable, more godly, than his brethren (1 Chron
4:9,10). He that has skill to judge of providences aright, has a
great ability in him to comprehend with other saints, what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height: but he that has not
skill as to discerning of them, is but a child in his judgment
in those high and mysterious things. And hence it is, that some
shall suck honey out of that, at the which others tremble for fear
it should poison them, I have often been made to say, "Sorrow is
better than laughter; and the house of mourning better than the
house of mirth" (Eccl 7:3-5). And I have more often seen, that
the afflicted are always the best sort of Christians. There is a
man, never well, never prospering, never but under afflictions,
disappointments and sorrows: why this man, if he be a Christian,
is one of the best of men. "They that go down to the sea,--that
do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord, and
his wonders in the deep." 4 (Psa 107:23,24) And it is from hence,
for aught I know, that James admonishes the brother of high degree
to rejoice in that he is made low. And he renders the reason of
it, to wit, for that the fashion of the world perisheth, the rich
man fadeth away in his way; but the tempted, and he that endureth
temptation is blessed (James 1:10-12). Now, I know these things
are not excellent in themselves, nor yet to be desired for any
profit that they can yield, but God doth use by these, as by a
tutor or instructor, to make known to them that are exercised with
them, so much of himself as to make them understand that riches of
his goodness that is seldom by other means broken up to the sons
of men. And hence 'tis said, that the afterwards of affliction
doth yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness unto them which
are exercised thereby (Heb 12:11).

The sum is, these breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights
of God, are to be discerned; and some that are good, do more, and
some do less discern them, and how they are working, and putting
forth themselves in every providence, in every change, in every turn
of the wheel that passeth by us in this world. I do not question
but that there are some that are alive that have been able
to say, the days of affliction have been the best unto them; and
that could, if it were lawful, pray that they might always be in
affliction, if God would but do to them as he did when his hand
was last upon them. For by them he caused his light to shine: Or
as Job has it, "Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou
shewest thyself marvelously upon me" (Job 10:16). See also the
writing of Hezekiah, and read what profit he found in afflictions
(Isa 38).

But again, these breadths, lengths, depths, and heights, have in
themselves naturally that glory, that cannot be so well discerned,
or kept in view by weak eyes. He had need have an eye like an
eagle, that can look upon the sun, that can look upon these great
things, and not be stricken blind therewith. You see how Saul was
served when he was going to Damascus (Acts 9): But Stephen could
stand and look up steadfastly into heaven; and that too when with
Jonah he was going into the deep (Acts 7). But I have done with
this, and proceed.

Second--That ye may be able to comprehend. Although apprehending
is included in comprehending; yet to comprehend is more. To
comprehend is to know a thing fully; or, to reach it all. But here
we must distinguish, and say, that there is a comprehending that
is absolute, and a comprehending that is comparative. Of comprehending
absolutely, or perfectly, we are not here to speak; for that the
Apostle could not, in this place, as to the thing prayed for,
desire: For it is utterly impossible perfectly to know whatsoever
is in the breadths, lengths, depths, and heights here spoken
of. Whether you call them mercies, judgments, or the ways of God
with men. "How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past
finding out!" (Rom 11:33) Or, if you take them to signify his
love, unto which you see I am inclined; why, that you read of in
the same place, to be it "which passes knowledge." Wherefore should
the Apostle by this term, conclude, or insinuate, that what he
calls here breadths, lengths, depths, or heights, might be fully,
or perfectly understood and known, he would not only contradict
other scriptures, but himself, in one and the self same breath.
Wherefore it must be understood comparatively; that is, and that
he says, with, or as much as others, as any, even with all saints.
That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the
breadth, and length, and depth, and height. I would ye were as
able to understand, to know, and to find out these things, as ever
any were; and to know with the very best of saints, The love of
Christ, which passeth knowledge. There are, as has before been
hinted, degrees of knowledge of these things; some know more,
some less; but the Apostle prays that these Ephesians might see,
know, and understand as much thereof as the best, or as any under
heaven.

1. And this, in the first place, shews us the love of a minister of
Jesus Christ. A minister's love to his flock is seen in his praying
for them: wherefore Paul, commonly, by his epistles, either first
or last, or both, gives the churches to understand, That he did
often heartily pray to God for them (Rom 16:20,24, 1 Cor 16:23,
Gal 6:18, Eph 1:16, Phil 1:4, Col 1:3, 1 Thess 1:2, 1 Tim 6:21,
2 Tim 4:22): And not only so, but also specifies the mercies, and
blessings, and benefits which he earnestly begged for them of God
(2 Cor 13:7, 2 Thess 1:11).

2. But, secondly, This implies that there are great benefits
accrued to Christians by the comprehending of these things: Yea,
it implies that something very special is ministered to us by this
knowledge of these; and here to touch upon a few of them.

(1.) He that shall arrive to some competent knowledge of these
things, shall understand more thoroughly the greatness, the wisdom,
the power, &c. of the God that is above. For by these expressions
are the attributes of God set forth unto us: And although I have
discoursed of them hitherto under the notion of grace and mercy,
yet it was not for that I concluded, they excluded the expressing
of his other attributes, but because they all, as it were, turn
into loving methods in the wheel of their heavenly motion towards
the children of God. Hence it is said, "God is love" (1 John 4:16),
"God is light" (1 John 1:5), God is what He is for His own glory,
and the good of them that fear Him. God! Why God in the breadth,
length, depth, height, that is here intended, comprehends the whole
world (Col 1:17). The whole world is in him: for he is before,
above, beyond, and round about all things. Hence it is said,
The heavens for breadth, are but his span: That he gathereth the
wind in his fists (Prov 30:4): measureth the waters in the hollow
of his hand, weigheth the mountains in scales, and the hills in
a balance (Isa 40:12). Yea, that "all nations before him are as
nothing, and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity"
(verse 17). Hence we are said to live and move in him (Acts 17:28),
and that He is beyond all search.

I will add one word more, notwithstanding there is such a revelation
of Him in his word, in the book of creatures, and in the book of
providences; yet the scripture says, "Lo, these are parts of his
ways: but how little a portion is heard of him?" (Job 26:14) So
great is God above all that we have read, heard, or seen of Him,
either in the bible, in heaven, or earth, the sea, or what else
is to be understood. But now, That a poor mortal, a lump of sinful
flesh, or, as the scripture-phrase is, poor dust and ashes, should
be in the favour, in the heart, and wrapped up in the compassions
of SUCH a God! O amazing! O astonishing consideration! And yet
"This God is our God for ever and ever; and He will be our guide
even unto death" (Psa 48:14).

It is said of our God, "That he humbleth himself when he beholds
things in heaven." How much more then when he openeth his eyes
upon man; but most of all when he makes it, as one may say, his
business to visit him every morning, and to try him every moment,
having set His heart upon him, being determined to set him also
among his princes. "The Lord is high above all nations, and his
glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who
dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that
are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of
the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; that he may
set him with princes, even with the princes of his people" (Psa
113:3-8).

(2.) IF this God be our God; or if our God be such a God, and could
we but attain to that knowledge of the breadth, and length, and
depth, and height that is in him, as the Apostle here prays, and
desires we may, we should never be afraid of anything we shall
meet with, or that shall assault us in this world. The great God,
the former of all things, taketh part with them that fear Him, and
that engage themselves to walk in His ways, of love, and respect,
they bear unto him; so that such may boldly say, "The Lord is my
helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Heb 13:6).
Would it not be amazing, should you see a man encompassed with
chariots and horses, and weapons for his defence, yet afraid of
being sparrow blasted, or over-run by a grasshopper! Why "It is
he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and" to whom "the
inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers" (Isa 40:22): that is the
God of the people that are lovers of Jesus Christ; therefore we
should not fear them. To fear man, is to forget God; and to be
careless in a time of danger, is to forget God's ordinance. What
is it then? Why, let us fear God, and diligently keep his way,
with what prudence and regard to our preservation, and also the
preservation of what we have, we may: And if, we doing this, our
God shall deliver us, and what we have, into the hands of them
that hate us, let us laugh, be fearless and careless, not minding
now to do anything else but to stand up for Him against the workers
of iniquity; fully concluding, that both we, and our enemies, are
in the hand of him that loveth his people, and that will certainly
render a reward to the wicked, after that he has sufficiently
tried us by their means. "The great God that formed all things,
both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors" (Prov 26:10).5

(3.) Another thing that the knowledge of what is prayed for of the
Apostle, if we attain it, will minister to us, is, An holy fear
and reverence of this great God in our souls; both because he is
great, and because he is wise and good (Jer 10:7). "Who shall not
fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?" (Rev 15:4)

Greatness should beget fear, greatness should beget reverence:
Now who so great as our God; and so, who to be feared like him!
He also is wise, and will not be deceived by any. "He will bring
evil, and not call back his words, but will rise against the house
of evil-doers, and against the help of them that work iniquity"
(Isa 31:2). Most men deal with God as if he were not wise; as if
he either knew not the wickedness of their hearts and ways, or
else knew not how to be even with them for it: When, alas! he is
wise in heart, and mighty in power; and although he will not, without
cause, afflict, yet he will not let wickedness go unpunished. This
therefore should make us fear. He also is good, and this should
make us serve him with fear. Oh! that a great God should be a
good God; a good God to an unworthy, to an undeserving, and to a
people that continually do what they can to provoke the eyes of
his glory; this should make us tremble. He is fearful in service,
fearful in praises.

The breadth, and length, and depth, and height of his out-going
towards the children of men, should also beget in us a very great
fear and dread of his majesty. When the prophet saw the height of
the wheels, he said they were dreadful (Eze 1:18), and cried out
unto them, O wheel! (10:13). His judgments also are a great deep
(Psa 36:6); nor is there any "searching of his understanding" (Isa
40:28). He can tell how to bring his wheel upon us; and to make
our table a snare, a trap, and a stumbling-block unto us (Isa
8:14, Rom 11:8-10). He can tell how to make his Son to us a rock
of offence, and his gospel to be a savour of death unto death,
unto us (2 Cor 2:15,16). He can tell how to choose delusions for
us (Isa 66:4, 2 Thess 2:11,12), and to lead us forth with the
workers of iniquity (Psa 125:5), He can out-wit, and out-do us, and
prevail against us for ever (Job 14:20); and therefore we should
be afraid and fear before Him, for our good, and the good of ours
for ever: Yea, it is for these purposes, with others, that the
Apostle prayeth thus for this people: For the comprehending of
these things, do poise and keep the heart in an even course. This
yields comfort; this gives encouragement; this begets fear and
reverence in our hearts of God.

(4.) This knowledge will make us willing that he should be our
God; yea, will also make us abide by that willingness. Jacob said
with a vow, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way
that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall
the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar,
shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will
surely give the tenth unto thee" (Gen 28:20-22). Thus he considered
the greatness of God, and from a supposition that he was what he
had heard him, of his father, to be; he concluded to choose him for
his God, and that he would worship him, and give him that honour
that was due to him as God. How did the king of Babylon set him
above all gods, when but some sparkling rays from him did light upon
him: he calls him "a God of gods" (Dan 2:47), prefers him above
all gods, charges all people and nations that they do nothing amiss
against him (Dan 3:28,29): he calls him "the most high" God, the
God "that liveth for ever"; and confesses, that he doth whatsoever
he will in heaven and earth; and concludes with praising and
extolling of him (Dan 4). We naturally love greatness; and when
the glorious beauty of the King of glory shall be manifest to us,
and we shall behold it, we shall say as Joshua did; Let all men
do as seems them good; but I, and my house will serve the Lord
(Josh 24:15).

When the Apostle Paul sought to win the Athenians to him, he sets
Him forth before them with such terms as bespeaks his greatness;
calling of him (and that rightly) "God that made the world, and
all things:--the Lord of heaven and earth;--One that giveth to all
life and breath, and all things"; One that is nigh to every one;
"he in whom we live, and move, and have our being": God that hath
made of one blood all nations of men, and that hath determined
the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation,
&c. (Acts 17:24-28) These things bespeak the greatness of God, and
are taking to considering men. Yea, these very Athenians, while
ignorant of him, from those dark hints that they had by natural
light concerning him, erected an altar to him, and put this
singular inscription upon it, "To the unknown God": to shew, that
according to their mode, they had some kind of reverence for him:
but how much more when they came to know him? and to believe that
God, in all his greatness, had engaged himself to be theirs; and
to bring them to himself, that they might in time be partakers of
his glory.

(5.) The more a man knows, or understands of the greatness of God
towards him, expressed here by the terms of unsearchable breadth,
length, depth, and height; the better will he be able in his heart
to conceive of the excellent glory and greatness of the things
that are laid up in the heavens for them that fear him. They that
know nothing of this greatness, know nothing of them; they that
think amiss of this greatness, think amiss of them; they that
know but little of this greatness, know but little of them: But
he that is able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth,
and length, and depth, and height; he is best able to conceive
of, and, consequently to make a judgment concerning the due worth,
and blessed glory of them.

This is both evident to reason; also experience confirmeth the same.
For, as for those dark souls that know nothing of his greatness,
they have in derision those who are, through the splendor of the
glory, captivated and carried away after God. Also, those whose
judgments are corrupted, and themselves thereby made as drunkards,
to judge of things foolishly, they, as it were, step in the same
steps with the other, and vainly imagine thereabout. Moreover,
we shall see those little spirited Christians, though Christians
indeed, that are but in a small measure acquainted with this God,
with the breadths, and lengths, and depths, and heights that are
in him, taken but little with the glory and blessedness that they
are to go to when they die: wherefore they are neither so mortified
to this world, so dead to sin, so self-denying, so delighted in
the book of God, nor so earnest in desires to be acquainted with
the heights, and depths that are therein. No, this is reserved
only for those who are devoted thereto: who have been acquainted
with God in a measure beyond that which your narrow-spirited Christians
understand. There doth want as to these things, enlargings in the
hearts of the most of saints, as there did in those of Corinth,
and also in those at Ephesus: Wherefore, as Paul bids the one, and
prays that the other may be enlarged, and have great knowledge
thereabout: so we should, to answer such love, through desire,
separate ourselves from terrene things that we may seek and
intermeddle with all wisdom (Prov 18:1). Christ says, "If any man
will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:17, Isa
28:9). Oh! that we were indeed enlarged as to these breadths, and
lengths, and depths, and heights of God, as the Apostle desired
the Ephesians might.

(6.) Then those great truths; the coming of Christ, the resurrection
of the dead, and eternal judgment, would neither seem so like
fables, nor be so much off our hearts as they do, and are (1 Cor
15:35). For the thorough belief of them depends upon the knowledge
of the abilities that are in God to perform what he has said
thereabout: And hence it is that your inferiour sort of Christians
live so like, as if none of these things were at hand; and hence
it is again, that they so soon are shaken in mind about them,
when tempted of the devil, or briskly assaulted by deceivers. But
this cometh to pass that there may be fulfilled what is written:
"And while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept"
(Matt 25:1-7). Surely, the meaning is, they were asleep about his
coming, the resurrection and the judgment; and, consequently had
lost much of that knowledge of God, the which if they had retained;
these truths, with power, would have been upon their hearts. The
Corinthians were horribly decayed here, though some more than
others: Hence Paul, when he treats of this doctrine, bids them
"awake to righteousness," and not sin, telling them, that some
among them had not the knowledge of God (1 Cor 15:34). To be sure,
they had not such a knowledge of God as would keep them steady in
the faith of these things (verse 51).

Now, the knowledge of the things above-mentioned, to wit, "this
comprehending knowledge"; will greaten these things, bring them
near, and make them to be credited as are the greatest of God's
truth: and the virtue of the faith of them is, to make one die
daily. Therefore,

(7.) Another advantage that floweth from this knowledge, is, that
it makes the next world desirable, not simply as it is with those
lean souls, that desire it only as the thief desireth the judge's
favour, that he may be saved from the halter; but out of love such
have to God and to the beauties of the house he dwells in; and
that they may be rid of this world, which is to such as a dark
dungeon. The knowledge of God that men pretend they have, may
easily be judged of, by the answerable or unanswerableness of their
hearts and lives thereto. Where is the man that groans earnestly
to be gone to God, that counts this life a strait unto him: that
saith as a sick man of my acquaintance did, when his friend at his
bed-side prayed to God to spare his life, No, no, said he, pray
not so; for it is better to be dissolved and be gone. Christians
should shew the world how they believe; not by words on paper, not
by gay and flourishing notions (James 2:18): but by those desires
they have to be gone, and the proof that these desires are true,
is a life in heaven while we are on earth (Phil 3:20,21). I know
words are cheap, but a dram of grace is worth all the world. But
where, as I said, shall it be found, not among carnal men, not
among weak Christians, but among those, and those only, that enjoy
a great measure of Paul's wish here. But to come to the

SECOND PART OF THE TEXT.

AND TO KNOW THE LOVE OF CHRIST WHICH PASSETH KNOWLEDGE. These
words are the second part of the text, and they deal mainly about
the love of Christ, who is the Son of God. We have spoken already
briefly of God, and therefore now we shall speak also of his Son.
These words are a part of the prayer afore-mentioned, and have
something of the same strain in them. In the first part, he prays
that they might comprehend that which cannot absolutely by any
means be comprehended: and here he prays that that might be known,
which yet in the same breath he saith, passeth knowledge, to wit,
the love of Christ. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth
knowledge. In the words we are to take notice of three things:

FIRST, Of the love of Christ.

SECOND, Of the exceeding greatness of it.

THIRD, Of the knowledge of it.

FIRST, We will begin with the first of these, to wit, Of the love
of Christ. Now for the explication of this we must inquire into
three things, First, Who Christ is. Second, What love is. Third,
What the love of Christ is.

First, Christ is a person of no less quality than he is of whom
we treated before: to wit, very God. So I say, not titularly, not
nominally, not so counterfeitly, but the self-same in nature with
the Father (John 1:1,2, 1 John 5:7, Phil 2:6). Wherefore what we
have under consideration, is so much the more to be taken notice
of; namely, that a person so great, so high, so glorious, as this
Jesus Christ was, should have love for us, that passes knowledge.
It is common for equals to love, and for superiors to be beloved;
but for the King of princes, for the Son of God, for Jesus Christ
to love man thus: this is amazing, and that so much the more, for
that man the object of this love, is so low, so mean, so vile, so
undeserving, and so inconsiderable, as by the scriptures, everywhere
he is described to be.

But to speak a little more particularly of this person. He is called
God (John 1:1). The King of glory (Psa 24:10), and Lord of glory
(1 Cor 2:8). The brightness of the glory of his Father (Heb 1:3).
The head over all things (Eph 1:22). The Prince of life (Acts
3:15). The Creator of all things (Col 1:16). The upholder of all
things (Heb 1:3). The disposer of all things (Matt 28:18). The
only beloved of the Father (Matt 11).

But the persons of him beloved, are called transgressors, sinners,
enemies, dust and ashes, fleas (1 Sam 24:14), worms, shadows,
vapours: vile, sinful, filthy, unclean, ungodly fools, madmen.
And now is it not to be wondered at, and are we not to be affected
herewith, saying, And wilt thou set thine eye upon such an one?
But how much more when He will set his heart upon us. And yet
this great, this high, this glorious person, verily, verily loveth
such.

Second, We now come to the second thing, namely, to shew what is
love; not in a way of nice distinction of words, but in a plain
and familiar discourse, yet respecting the love of the person
under consideration.

Love ought to be considered with reference to the subject as well
as to the object of it.

The subject of love in the text, is Christ; but forasmuch as love
in him is diverse from the love that is in us; therefore it will
not be amiss, if a little [of] the difference be made appear.

Love in us is a passion of the soul, and being such, is subject
to ebb and flow, and to be extreme both ways. For whatever is a
passion of the soul, whether love or hatred, joy or fear, is more
apt to exceed, or come short, than to keep within its due bounds.
Hence, oft-times that which is loved today is hated tomorrow
(2 Sam 13:15); yea, and that which should be loved with bounds
of moderation, is loved to the drowning of both soul and body in
perdition and destruction (1 Tim 6:9,10).

Besides, love in us is apt to choose to itself undue and unlawful
objects, and to reject those, that with leave of God, we may
embrace and enjoy; so unruly, as to the laws and rules of divine
government, oft-times is this passion of love in us.

Love in us, requires, that something pleasing and delightful be
in the object loved, at least, so it must appear to the lust and
fancy of the person loving, or else love cannot act; for the love
that is in us, is not of power to set itself on work, where no
allurement is in the thing to be beloved.

Love in us decays, though once never so warm and strongly fixed,
if the object falls off, as to its first alluring provocation; or
disappointeth our expectation with some unexpected reluctancy to
our fancy or our mind.

All this we know to be true from nature, for every one of us are
thus; nor can we refuse, or choose as to love, but upon, and after
the rate, and the working thus of our passions. Wherefore our
love, as we are natural, is weak, unorderly, fails and miscarries,
either by being too much or too little; yea, though the thing which
is beloved be allowed for an object of love, both by the law of
nature and grace. We therefore must put a vast difference betwixt
love, as found in us, and love as found in Christ, and that, both
as to the nature, principle, or object of love.

Love in Christ is not love of the same nature, as is love in us;
love in him is essential to his being (1 John 4:16); but in us
it is not so, as has been already shewed. God is love; Christ is
God; therefore Christ is love, love naturally. Love therefore is
essential to His being. He may as well cease to be, as cease to
love. Hence therefore it follows, that love in Christ floweth not
from so low and beggarly a principle, as doth love in man; and
consequently is not, nor can be attended with those infirmities
or defects, that the love of man is attended with.

It is not attended with those unruly or uncertain motions that ours
is attended with: here is no ebbing, no flowing, no going beyond,
no coming short; and so nothing of uncertainty. "Having loved his
own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end" (John
13:1).

True, there is a way of manifesting of this love, which is suited
to our capacities, as men, and by that we see it sometimes more,
sometimes less (Song 7:11,12): also it is manifested to us as we
do, or do not walk with God in this world (John 14:23). I speak
now of saints.

Love in Christ pitcheth not itself upon undue or unlawful objects;
nor refuseth to embrace what by the eternal covenant is made
capable thereof. It always acteth according to God; nor is there
at any time the least shadow of swerving as to this.

Love in Christ requireth no taking beauteousness in the object
to be beloved, as not being able to put forth itself without such
attracting allurements (Eze 16:6-8). It can act of and from itself,
without all such kind of dependencies. This is manifest to all who
have the least true knowledge of what that object is in itself,
on which the Lord Jesus has set his heart to love them.

Love in Christ decays not, nor can be tempted so to do by anything
that happens, or that shall happen hereafter, in the object so
beloved. But as this love at first acts by, and from itself, so
it continueth to do until all things that are imperfections, are
completely and everlastingly subdued. The reason is, because Christ
loves to make us comely, not because we are so (Eze 16:9-14).

Object. But all along Christ compareth his love to ours; now, why
doth he so, if they be so much alike?

Answer. Because we know not love but by the passions of love that
work in our hearts; wherefore he condescends to our capacities,
and speaketh of His love to us, according as we find love to work
in ourselves to others. Hence he sets forth his love to us, by
borrowing from us instances of our love to wife and children (Eph
5:25). Yea, he sometimes sets forth his love to us, by calling to
our mind how sometimes a man loves a woman that is a whore, "Go,"
(saith God to the prophet) "love a woman beloved of her friend,
yet an adulteress, according to the word of the Lord toward the
children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of
wine." (Hosea 3:1) But then, these things must not be understood
with respect to the nature, but the dispensations and manifestations
of love; no, nor with reference to these neither, any further than
by making use of such suitable similitudes, thereby to commend his
love to us, and thereby to beget in us affections to him for the
love bestowed upon us. Wherefore Christ's love must be considered
both with respect to the essence, and also as to the divers
workings of it. For the essence thereof, it is as I said, natural
with himself, and as such, it is the root and ground of all those
actions of his, whereby he hath shewed that himself is loving to
sinful man. But now, though the love that is in him is essential
to his nature, and can vary no more than God himself: yet we see
not this love but by the fruits of it, nor can it otherwise be
discerned. "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid
down his life for us" (1 John 3:16). We must then betake ourselves
to the discoveries of this love, of which there are two sorts;
[namely,] such as are the foundations, and such as are the
consequences of those fundamental acts. Those which I call the
foundations, are they upon which all other discoveries of his
goodness depend, and they are two. 1. His dying for us. 2. His
improving of his death for us at the right hand of God.

Third, And this leads me to the third particular, to wit, to shew
you what the love of Christ is; namely, in the discovery of it.
And to know the love of Christ.

The love of Christ is made known unto us, as I said, First, By his
dying for us. Second, By his improving of his dying for us.

1. His dying for us appears, (1.) To be wonderful in itself. (2.)
In his preparations for that work.

(1.) It appears to be wonderful in itself, and that both with
respect to the nature of that death, as also, with respect to the
persons for whom he so died.

The love of Christ appears to be wonderful by the death he died: In
that he died, in that he died such a death. 'Twas strange love in
Christ that moved him to die for us: strange, because not according
to the custom of the world. Men do not use, in cool blood,
deliberately to come upon the stage or ladder, to lay down their
lives for others; but this did Jesus Christ, and that too for such,
whose qualification, if it be duly considered, will make this act
of his, far more amazing, He laid down his life for his enemies
(Rom 5), and for those that could not abide him; yea, for those,
even for those that brought him to the cross: not accidentally, or
because it happened so, but knowingly, designedly, (Zech 12:10),
he knew it was for those he died, and yet his love led him to lay
down his life for them. I will add, That those very people for
whom he laid down his life, though they by all sorts of carriages
did what they could to provoke him to pray to God his Father,
that he would send and cut them off by the flaming sword of angels
(Matt 26:53), would not be provoked, but would lay down his life
for them. Nor must I leave off here: We never read that Jesus
Christ was more cheerful in all his life on earth, than when he
was going to lay down his life for them, now he thanked God (Luke
22:19), now he sang (Matt 26:30).

But this is not all. He did not only die, but died such a death,
as indeed cannot be expressed. He was content to be counted the
sinner: yea, to be counted the sin of the sinner, nor could this
but be odious to so holy a Lamb as he was, yet willing to be this
and thus for that love that he bare to men.

This being thus, it follows, that his sufferings must be inconceivable;
for that, what in justice was the proper wages of sin and sinners,
he must undergo; and what that was can no man so well know as
he himself and damned spirits; for the proper wages of sin, and
of sinners for their sin, is that death which layeth pains, such
pains which it deserveth upon the man that dieth so: But Christ
died so, and consequently was seized by those pains not only in
body but in soul. His tears, his cries, his bloody sweat (Luke
22:44), the hiding of his Father's face; yea, God's forsaking of
him in his extremity (Matt 27:46), plainly enough declares the
nature of the death he died (Mark 15:39). For my part, I stand
amazed at those that would not have the world believe, that the
death of Jesus Christ was, in itself, so terrible as it was.

I will not stand here to discourse of the place called Hell, where
the spirits of the damned are, we are discoursing of the nature of
Christ's sufferings: and I say, if Christ was put into the very
capacity of one that must suffer what in justice ought to be
inflicted for sin; then, how we can so diminish the greatness of
his sufferings, as some do, without undervaluing of the greatness
of his love, I know not; and how they will answer it, I know not.
And on the contrary, what if I should say, that the soul of Christ
suffered as long as his body lay in the grave, and that God's
loosing of the pains of death at Christ's resurrection, must not
so much be made mention of with reference to his body, as to his
soul, if to his body at all. For what pain of death was his body
capable of, when his soul was separate from it? (Acts 2:24) And
yet God's loosing the pains of death, seems to be but an immediate
antecedent to his rising from the dead. And this sense Peter doth
indeed seem to pursue, saying, "For David speaketh concerning him;
I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right
hand, that I should not be moved. Therefore did my heart rejoice,
and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope,
because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou
suffer thine holy one to see corruption" (Acts 2:25-27). This,
saith Peter, was not spoken of David, but he being a prophet,
and knowing that God had sworn with an oath, that of the fruit of
his loins according to the flesh he would raise up Christ to sit
on his throne (verse 29,30): He seeing this before, spake of the
resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither
did his flesh see corruption (verse 31). "Thou wilt not leave my
soul in hell"; his soul was not left in hell. Of what use are these
expressions, if the soul of Christ suffered not, if it suffered
not when separated from the body? for of that time the Apostle
Peter seems to treat. Besides, if it be not improper to say, that
soul was not left there, that never was there, I am at a loss. Thou
wilt not leave, his soul was not left there; ergo, It was there,
seems to be the natural conclusion. If it be objected, that by
hell is meant the grave, 'tis foolish to think that the soul of
Christ lay there while his body lay dead therein. But again, the
Apostle seems clearly to distinguish between the places where the
soul and body of Christ was; counting his body to be in the grave,
and his soul, for the time, in hell. If there be objected what
was said by him to the thief upon the cross (Luke 23:43), I can
answer, Christ might speak that with reference to his God-head,
and if so, that lies as no objection to what hath been insinuated.
And why may not that be so understood, as well as where he said,
when on earth, "The Son of man which is in heaven" (John 3:13),
meaning himself. For the personality of the Son of God, call him
Son of man, or what other term is fitting, resideth not in the
human, but divine nature of Jesus Christ. However, since hell
is sometimes taken for the place (Acts 1:25), sometimes for the
grave, sometimes for the state (Psa 116:3), and sometimes but for
a figure of the place where the damned are tormented (Jonah 2:2);
I will not strictly assign to Christ the place, the prison where
the damned spirits are (1 Peter 3:19), but will say, as I said
before, that he was put into the place of sinners, into the sins
of sinners, and received what by justice was the proper wages of
sin both in body and soul: As is evident from that 53rd of Isaiah
(verse 10,11). This soul of his I take to be that which the inwards
and the fat of the burnt sacrifices was a figure, or shadow of.
"And the fat and the inwards were burnt upon the altar, whilst
the body was burned for sin without the camp" (Exo 29:13,14, Lev
8:14-17).

And now having said this much, wherein have I derogated from the
glory and holiness of Christ? Yea, I have endeavoured to set forth
something of the greatness of his sorrows, the odiousness of sin,
the nature of justice, and the love of Christ. And be sure, by how
much the sufferings of the Son of God abounded for us, by so much
was this unsearchable love of Christ made manifest. Nor can they
that would, before the people, pare away, and make but little these
infinite sufferings of our Lord, make his love to be so great as
they ought, let them use what rhetoric they can. For their objecting
the odious names and place of hell, accounting it not to be fit to
say, That so holy a person as the Son of God was there. I answer,
though I have not asserted it, yet let me ask, which is more
odious, hell or sin? Or whether such think that Christ Jesus was
subject to be tainted by the badness of the place, had he been
there? Or whether, when the scripture says, God is in hell, it
is any disparagement to him? (Psa 139:8) Or if a man should be so
bold as to say so, Whether by so saying, he confineth Christ to
that place for ever? And whether by so thinking he has contradicted
that called the Apostles' creed?6

(2.) Having thus spoken of the death and sufferings of Christ,
I shall in the next place speak of his preparations for his so
suffering for us; and by so doing, yet shew you something more of
the greatness of his love.

Christ, as I have told you, was even before his sufferings, a person
of no mean generation, being the Son of the eternal God: Neither
had his Father any more such sons but he; consequently he of right
was heir of all things, and so to have dominion over all worlds.
For, "for him were all things created" (Col 1:16). And hence all
creatures are subject to him; yea the angels of God worship him
(Heb 1). Wherefore as so considered, he augmented not his state
by becoming lower than the angels for us, for what can be added
to him, that is naturally God. Indeed he did take, for our sakes,
the human nature into union with himself, and so began to manifest
his glory; and the kindness that he had for us before all worlds,
began now eminently to shew itself. Had this Christ of God, our
friend, given all he had to save us, had not his love been wonderful?
But when he shall give for us himself, this is more wonderful. But
this is not all, the case was so betwixt God and man, that this
Son of God could not, as he was before the world was, give himself
a ransom for us, he being altogether incapable so to do, being
such an one as could not be subject to death, the condition that
we by sin had put ourselves into.

Wherefore that which would have been a death to some, to wit, the
laying aside of glory and becoming, of the King of princes, a
servant of the meanest form; this he of his own good-will, was
heartily content to do. Wherefore, he that once was the object
of the fear of angels, is now become a little creature, a worm,
an inferior one (Psa 22:6), born of a woman, brought forth in a
stable, laid in a manger (Luke 2:7), scorned of men, tempted of
devils (Luke 4:2), was beholden to his creatures for food, for
raiment, for harbour, and a place wherein to lay his head when
dead. In a word, he "made himself of no reputation, took upon him
the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Phil
2:7), that he might become capable to do this kindness for us.
And it is worth your noting, that all the while that he was in the
world, putting himself upon those other preparations which were
to be antecedent to his being made a sacrifice for us, no man,
though he told what he came about to many, had, as we read of, an
heart once to thank him for what he came about (Isa 53:3). No,
they railed on him, they degraded him, they called him devil,
they said he was mad, and a deceiver, a blasphemer of God, and a
rebel against the state: They accused him to the governor; yea,
one of his disciples sold him, another denied him, and they all
forsook him, and left him to shift for himself in the hands of
his horrible enemies; who beat him with their fists, spat on him,
mocked him, crowned him with thorns, scourged him, made a gazing
stock of him, and finally, hanged him up by the hands and the feet
alive, and gave him vinegar to increase his affliction, when he
complained that his anguish had made him thirsty. And yet all this
could not take his heart off the work of our redemption. To die
he came, die he would, and die he did before he made his return
to the Father, for our sins, that we might live through him.
7 Nor may what we read of in the word concerning those temporal
sufferings that he underwent be over-looked, and passed by without
serious consideration; they being a part of the curse that our sin
had deserved! For all temporal plagues are due to our sin while we
live, as well as the curse of God to everlasting perdition, when
we die. Wherefore this is the reason why the whole life of the
Lord Jesus was such a life of affliction and sorrow, he therein
bare our sicknesses, and took upon him our deserts: So that now
the curse in temporals, as well as the curse in spirituals, and
of everlasting malediction, is removed by him away from God's
people; and since he overcame them, and got to the cross, it was
by reason of the worthiness of the humble obedience that he yielded
to his Father's law in our flesh. For his whole life (as well as
his death) was a life of merit and purchase, and desert. Hence it
is said, "he increased in favour with God" (Luke 2:52). For his
works made him still more acceptable to him: For he standing in the
room of man, and becoming our reconciler to God; by the heavenly
majesty he was counted as such, and so got for us what he earned
by his mediatory works; and also partook thereof as he was our
head himself. And was there not in all these things love, and
love that was infinite? Love which was not essential to his divine
nature, could never have carried him through so great a work as
this: Passions here would a failed, would a retreated, and have
given the recoil; yea, his very humanity would here have flagged
and fainted, had it not been managed, governed, and strengthened
by his eternal Spirit. Wherefore it is said, that "through the
eternal Spirit he offered himself without spot to God" (Heb 9:14).
And that he was declared to be the Son of God, with so doing, and
by the resurrection from the dead (Rom 1:4).

2. We come now to the second thing propounded, and by which his
love is discovered, and that is his improving of his dying for
us. But I must crave pardon of my reader, if he thinks that I
can discover the ten hundred thousandth part thereof, for it is
impossible; but my meaning is, to give a few hints what beginnings
of improvement he made thereof, in order to his further progress
therein.

(1.) Therefore, This his death for us, was so virtuous, that in the
space of three days and three nights, it reconciled to God in the
body of his flesh as a common person, all, and every one of God's
elect. Christ, when he addressed himself to die, presented himself
to the justice of the law, as a common person; standing in the
sted, place, and room of all that he undertook for; He gave "his
life a ransom for many" (Matt 20:28). "He came into the world to
save sinners" (1 Tim 1:15). And as he thus presented himself, so
God, his Father, admitted him to this work; and therefore it is
said, "The Lord laid upon him the iniquity of us all": And again,
"surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isa
53:4,6,12). Hence it unavoidably follows, that whatever he felt,
and underwent in the manner, or nature, or horribleness of the
death he died, he felt and underwent all as a common person; that
is, as he stood in the sted of others: Therefore it is said, "He
was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities";
and that "the chastisement of our peace was upon him" (Isa 53:5).
And again "the just died for the unjust" (1 Peter 3:18).

Now then, if he presented himself as a common person to justice,
if God so admitted and accounted him, if also he laid the sins
of the people, whose persons he represented, upon him, and under
that consideration punishes him with those punishments and death,
that he died. Then Christ in life and death is concluded by the
Father to live and die as a common or public person, representing
all in this life and death, for whom he undertook thus to live,
and thus to die. So then, it must needs be, that what next befalls
this common person, it befalls him with respect to them in whose
room and place he stood and suffered. Now, the next that follows,
is, "that he is justified of God": That is, acquitted and discharged
from this punishment, for the sake of the worthiness of his death
and merits; for that must be before he could be raised from the
dead (Acts 2:24): God raised him not up as guilty, to justify him
afterwards: His resurrection was the declaration of his precedent
justification. He was raised from the dead, because it was neither
in equity or justice possible that he should be holden longer
there, his merits procured the contrary.

Now he was condemned of God's law, and died by the hand of justice,
he was acquitted by God's law, and justified of justice; and all
as a common person; so then, in his acquitting, we are acquitted,
in his justification we are justified; and therefore the Apostle
applieth God's justifying of Christ to himself; and that rightly
(Isa 50:8, Rom 8:33,34). For if Christ be my undertaker, will stand
in my place, and do for me, 'tis but reasonable that I should be
a partaker: Wherefore we are also said to be "quickened together
with him" (Eph 2:5): That is, when he was quickened in the grave;
raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in
Christ Jesus. Therefore another scripture saith, "Hath He quickened
you--together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col
2:13). This quickening, must not be understood of the renovation
of our hearts, but of the restoring of Jesus Christ to life after
he was crucified; and we are said to be quickened together with
him, because we were quickened in him at his death, and were to
fall or stand by him quite through the three days and three nights
work; and were to take therefore our lot with him: Wherefore it
is said again, That his resurrection is our justification (Rom
4:25). That by one offering he has purged our sins for ever (Heb
10:12); and that by his death he hath "delivered us from the wrath
to come" (1 Thess 1:10). But I say, I would be understood aright:
This life resideth yet in the Son, and is communicated from him
to us, as we are called to believe his word; mean while we are
secured from wrath and hell, being justified in his justification,
quickened in his quickening, raised up in his resurrection; and
made to sit already together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!
8 And is not this a glorious improvement of his death, that after
two days the whole body of the elect, in him, should be revived,
and that in the third day we should live in the sight of God, in
and by him (Heb 6:18-20).

(2.) Another improvement of his death for us, was this, By that he
slew for us, our infernal foes; by it he abolished death (2 Tim
1:1); by death he destroyed him that had the power of death (Heb
2:14): By death he took away the sting of death (1 Cor 15:55,56);
by death he made death a pleasant sleep to saints, and the grave
for a while, an easy house and home for the body. By death he
made death such an advantage to us, that it is become a means of
translating of the souls of them that believe in him, to life.
And all this is manifest, for that death is ours, a blessing to
us, as well as Paul and Apollos, the world and life itself (1 Cor
3:22). And that all this is done for us by his death, is apparent,
for that his person is where it is, and that by himself as a common
person he has got the victory for us. For though as yet all things
are not put under our feet, yet we see Jesus crowned with honour
and glory, who by the grace of God tasteth death for every man.
"For it became God, for whom are all things, and by whom are all
things, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through
sufferings" (Heb 2:7-10). It became him; that is, it was but just
and right, he should do so, if there was enough in the virtuousness
of his death and blood to require such a thing. But there was so.
Wherefore God has exalted him, and us in him, above these infernal
foes. Let us therefore see ourselves delivered from death first,
by the exaltation of our Jesus, let us behold him I say as crowned
with glory and honour, as, or because, he tasted death for us.
And then we shall see ourselves already in heaven by our head,
our undertaker, our Jesus, our Saviour.

(3.) Another improvement that has already been made of his death
for us, is thus, he hath at his entrance into the presence of God,
for his worthiness sake, obtained that the Holy Ghost should be
given unto him for us, that we by that might in all things, yet
to be done, be made meet to be partakers personally, in ourselves,
as well as virtually by our head and forerunner, of the inheritance
of the saints in light. Wherefore the abundant pourings out of
that was forborn until the resurrection, and glorification of our
Lord Jesus. "For the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that
Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39). Nor was it given so soon
as received: for he received it upon his entering into the holy
place, when he had sprinkled the mercy seat with the blood of
sprinkling, but it was not given out to us till sometimes after
(Acts 4): however it was obtained before (Acts 2:32,33). And it
was meet that it should in that infinite immeasurableness in which
he received it, first abide upon him, that his human nature, which
was the first fruits of the election of God, might receive by its
abidings upon him, that glory for which it was ordained; and that
we might receive, as we receive all other things, first by our
head and undertaker, sanctification in the fullness of it. Hence
it is written, that as he is made unto us of God, wisdom, and
righteousness, and redemption, so sanctification too (1 Cor 1:30):
For first we are sanctified in his flesh, as we are justified by
his righteousness. Wherefore he is that holy one that setteth us,
in himself, a holy lump before God, not only with reference to
justification and life, but with reference to sanctification and
holiness: For we that are elect, are all considered in him as he
has received that, as well as in that he has taken possession of
the heaven for us. I count not this all the benefit that accrueth
to us by Jesus his receiving the Holy Ghost, at his entrance into
the presence of God for us: For we also are to receive it ourselves
from him, according as by God we are placed in the body at the
times appointed of the Father. That we, as was said, may receive
personal quickening, personal renovation, personal sanctification;
and in conclusion, glory. But I say, for that he hath received
this holy Spirit to himself, he received it as the effect of his
ascension, which was the effect of his resurrection, and of the
merit of his death and passion. And he received it as a common
person, as a head and undertaker for the people.

(4.) Another improvement that has been made of his death, and of
the merits thereof for us, is that he has obtained to be made of
God, the chief and high Lord of heaven and earth, for us, (All this
while we speak of the exaltation of the human nature, in, by, and
with which, the Son of God became capable to be our reconciler
unto God). "All things," saith he, "are delivered unto me of my
Father. And all power in heaven and earth is given unto me"; and
all this because he died. "He humbled himself, and became obedient
unto death, even the death of the cross; wherefore God hath highly
exalted him, and given him a name above every name, that at the
name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, of things
in earth, or things under the earth: and that every tongue shall
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father"
(Phil 2). And all this is, as was said afore, for our sakes. He
has given him to be head over all things to the church (Eph 1:22).

Wherefore, whoever is set up on earth, they are set up by our Lord.
"By me," saith he, "kings reign, and princes decree justice. By
me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth"
(Prov 8:15,16). Nor are they when set up, left to do, though they
should desire it, their own will and pleasure. The Metheg-Ammah,9
the bridle, is in his own hand, and he giveth reins, or check,
even as it pleaseth him (2 Sam 8:1), He has this power, for the
well-being of his people. Nor are the fallen angels exempted from
being put under his rebuke: He is the "only potentate" (1 Tim 6:15),
and in his times will shew it, Peter tells us, he "is gone into
heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels, and authorities,
and powers being made subject unto him" (1 Peter 3:22).

This power, as I said, he has received for the sake of his church
on earth, and for her conduct and well-being among the sons of
men. Hence, as he is called the king of nations, in general (Jer
10:7); so the King of saints, in special (Rev 15:3): and as he is
said to be head over all things in general; so to his church in
special.

(5.) Another improvement that he hath made of his death for us,
is, he hath obtained, and received into his own hand sufficiency
of gifts to make ministers for his church withal. I say, to make
and maintain, in opposition to all that would hinder, a sufficient
ministry (1 Cor 12:28-30). Wherefore he saith, "When he ascended
on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. And he
gave some Apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors
and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of
the ministry, for edifying of the body of Christ. Until we all come
in the unity of the faith, and knowledge of the Son of God, unto
a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of
Christ" (Eph 4:8-14). Many ways has Satan devised to bring into
contempt this blessed advantage that Christ has received of God
for the benefit of his church; partly while he stirs up persons
to revile the sufficiency of the Holy Ghost, as to this thing:
partly, while he stirs up his own limbs and members, to broach
his delusions in the world, in the name of Christ, and as they
blasphemously call it by the assistance of the Holy Ghost;10 partly
while he tempteth novices in their faith, to study and labour in
nice distinctions, and the affecting of uncouth expressions, that
vary from the form of sound words, thereby to get applause, and
a name, a forerunner of their own destruction (John 3:6).

But, notwithstanding all this, "Wisdom is justified of her children"
(Matt 11:19): and at the last day, when the outside, and inside
of all things shall be seen and compared, it will appear that the
Son of God has so managed his own servants in the ministry of his
word, and so managed his word, while they have been labouring in
it, as to put in his blessing by that, upon the souls of sinners,
and has blown away all other things as chaff (James 1:18).

(6.) Another improvement that the Lord Christ has made of his
death, for his, is the obtaining, and taking possession of heaven
for them. "By his own blood he entered in once into the holy
place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb 9:12). This
heaven! who knows what it is? (Matt 22:23) This glory! who knows
what it is? It is called God's throne, God's house (John 14:2),
God's habitation; paradise (2 Cor 12:4), the kingdom of God, the
high and holy place (Isa 57:15). Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:22),
and the place of heavenly pleasures (Psa 16:11); in this heaven
is to be found, the face of God for ever (Psa 41:12): Immortality,
the person of Christ, the prophets, the angels, the revelation of
all mysteries, the knowledge of all the elect, ETERNITY.

Of this heaven, as was said afore, we are possessed already, we are
in it, we are set down in it, and partake already of the benefits
thereof, but all by our head and undertaker; and 'tis fit that
we should believe this, rejoice in this, talk of this, tell one
another of this, and live in the expectation of our own personal
enjoyment of it. And as we should do all this, so we should bless
and praise the name of God who has put over this house, this
kingdom, and inheritance into the hand of so faithful a friend.
Yea, a brother, a Saviour and blessed undertaker for us. And
lastly, since all these things already mentioned, are the fruit
of the sufferings of our Jesus, and his sufferings the fruit of
that love of his that passeth knowledge: how should we bow the
knee before him, and call him tender Father; yea, how should we
love and obey him, and devote ourselves unto his service, and be
willing to be also sufferers for his sake, to whom be honour and
glory for ever. And thus much of the love of Christ in general.

I might here add many other things, but as I told you before,
we would under the head but now touched upon, treat about the
fundamentals or great and chief parts thereof, [Christ's love] and
then.

SECOND, Of the exceeding greatness of it more particularly: Wherefore
of that we must say something now.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. In that it
is said to pass knowledge, 'tis manifest it is exceeding great, or
greatly going beyond what can be known; for to exceed, is to go
beyond, be above, or to be out of the reach of what would comprehend
that which is so. And since the expression is absolutely indefinite,
and respecteth not the knowledge of this or the other creature
only: it is manifest, that Paul by his thus saying, challengeth
all creatures in heaven and earth to find out the bottom of this
love if they can. The love of Christ which passeth knowledge. I will
add, that forasmuch as he is indefinite also about the knowledge,
as well as about the persons knowing, it is out of doubt that he
here engageth all knowledge, in what enlargements, attainments,
improvements, and heights soever it hath, or may for ever attain
unto. It passeth knowledge (Eph 3:19).

Of the same import also is that other passage of the Apostle a
little above in the self-same chapter. I preach, saith he, among
the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ: or those riches of
Christ that cannot by searching, be found out in the all of them:
The riches, the riches of his love and grace. The riches of his
love and grace towards us. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became
poor, that ye through his poverty might be made 11 rich" (2 Cor
8:9). Ye know the grace, that is so far, and so far every believer
knows it: for that his leaving heaven and taking upon him flesh,
that he might bring us thither, is manifest to all. But yet,
all the grace that was wrapped up in that amazing condescension,
knoweth none, nor can know: for if that might be, that possibility
would be a flat contradiction to the text: "The love of Christ
which passeth knowledge." Wherefore the riches of this love
in the utmost of it, is not, cannot be known by any: let their
understanding and knowledge, be heightened and improved what it
may. Yea, and being heightened and improved, let what search there
can by it be made into this love and grace. "That which is afar
off, and exceeding deep, who can find out?" (Eccl 7:24) And that
this love of Christ is so, shall anon be made more apparent. But
at present we will proceed to particular challenges for the making
out of this, and then we will urge those reasons that will be for
the further confirmation of the whole.

First, This love passes the knowledge of the wisest saint, we now
single out the greatest proficient in this knowledge; and to confirm
this, I need go no further than to the man that spake these words;
to wit, Paul, for in his conclusion he includes himself. The love
of Christ which passeth knowledge, even my knowledge. As who should
say; though I have waded a great way in the grace of Christ, and
have as much experience of his love as any he in all the world,
yet I confess myself short, as to the fullness that is therein,
nor will I stick to conclude of any other, That "he knows nothing
yet as he ought to know" (1 Cor 8:2, 13:12).

Second, This love passeth the knowledge of all the saints, were
it all put together, we, we all, and every one, did we each of us
contribute for the manifesting of this love, what it is, the whole
of what we know, it would amount but to a broken knowledge; we know
but in part, we see darkly (1 Cor 13:9-12), we walk not by sight,
but faith (2 Cor 5:7). True, now we speak of saints on earth.

Third, But we will speak of saints in heaven; they cannot to the
utmost, know this love of Christ. For though they know more thereof
than saints on earth, because they are more in the open visions
of it, and also are more enlarged, being spirits perfect, than we
on earth. Yet, to say no more now, they do not see the rich and
unsearchable runnings out thereof unto sinners here on earth. Nor
may they there measure that, to others, by what they themselves
knew of it here. For sins, and times and persons and other
circumstances, may much alter the case, but were all the saints
on earth, and all the saints in heaven to contribute all that
they know of this love of Christ, and to put it into one sum of
knowledge, they would greatly come short of knowing the utmost of
this love, for that there is an infinite deal of this love, yet
unknown by them. 'Tis said plainly, that they on earth do not yet
know what they shall be (1 John 3:2). And as for them in heaven,
they are not yet made perfect as they shall be (Heb 11:39,40).
Besides, we find the souls under the altar, how perfect now
soever, when compared with that state they were in when with the
body (Isa 63:16); yet are not able in all points, though in glory,
to know, and so to govern themselves there without directions
(Rev 6:9-11). I say, they are not able, without directions and
instructions, to know the kinds and manner of workings of the love
of Christ towards us that dwell on earth.

Fourth, We will join with these, the angels, and when all of them,
with men, have put all and every whit of what they know of this
love of Christ together, they must come far short of reaching to,
or of understanding the utmost bound thereof. I grant, that angels
do know, in some certain parts of knowledge of the love of Christ,
more than saints on earth can know while here; but then again, I
know that even they do also learn many things of saints on earth,
which shews that themselves know also but in part (Eph 3:10);
so then, all, as yet, as to this love of Christ, and the utmost
knowledge of it, are but as so many imperfects (1 Peter 1:12), nor
can they all, put all their imperfects together, make up a perfect
knowledge of this love of Christ; for the texts do yet stand where
they did, and say, his riches are unsearchable, and his love that
which passeth knowledge. We will come now to shew you, besides
what has been already touched on.

THE REASON why this riches is unsearchable, and that love such as
passeth knowledge; and the

Reason First is, Because It is eternal. All that is eternal, has
attending of it, as to the utmost knowledge of it, a fourfold
impossibility. 1. It is without beginning. 2. It is without end.
3. It is infinite. 4. It is incomprehensible.

1. It is without beginning: That which was before the world was,
is without a beginning, but the love of Christ was before the
world.

This is evident from Proverbs the eighth, "his delights," before
God had made the world, are there said to be, "with the sons of
men." Not that we then had being, for we were as yet uncreated;
but though we had not beings created, we had being in the love and
affections of Jesus Christ. Now this love of Christ must needs,
as to the fullness of it, as to the utmost of it, be absolutely
unknown to man. Who can tell how many heart-pleasing thoughts Christ
had of us before the world began? Who can tell how much he then
was delighted in that being we had in his affections; as also, in
the consideration of our beings, believings, and being with him
afterwards.

In general we may conclude, it was great; for there seems to be
a parallel betwixt his Father's delights in him, and his delights
in us. "I was daily his delight,--any my delights were with the
sons of men" (Prov 8:22,30,31). But I say, who can tell, who can
tell altogether, what and how much the Father delighted in his
Son before the world began? Who can tell what kind of delight the
Father had in the Son before the world began? Why there seems to
be a parallel betwixt the Father's love to Christ, and Christ's
love to us; the Father's delight in Christ, and his delight in
us. Yea, Christ confirms it, saying, "As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you, continue ye in my love" (John 15:9). I know
that I am not yet upon the nature of the word eternal; yet since,
by eternal, we understand, before the world began, as well as
forward, to an endless forever: We may a little enquire of folks
as they may read, if they can tell the kind or measure of the love
wherewith Christ then loved us. I remember the question that God
asked Job, "Where," saith he, "wast thou when I laid the foundation
of the earth? declare if thou hast understanding" (Job 38:4): Thereby
insinuating that because it was done before he had his being,
therefore he could not tell how it was done. Now, if a work so
visible, as the creation is, is yet as to the manner of the workmanship
thereof wholly unknown to them that commenced in their beings
afterwards: How shall that which has, in all the circumstances of
it, been more hidden and inward, be found out by them that have
intelligence thereof by the ear, and but in part, and that in a
mystery, and long afterwards. But to conclude this, That which is
eternal is without all beginning. This was presented to consideration
before, and therefore it cannot to perfection be known.

2. That which is eternal is without end, and how can an endless
thing be known, that which has no end has no middle, wherefore
it is impossible that the one half of the love that Christ has
for his church should ever by them be known. I know that those
visions that the saved shall have in heaven of this love, will far
transcend our utmost knowledge here, even as far as the light of
the sun at noon, goes beyond the light of a blinking candle at
midnight; and hence it is, that when the days of those visions
are come, the knowledge that we now have, shall be swallowed up.
"When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part
shall be done away" (1 Cor 13:10). And although he speaks here of
perfections, "when that which is perfect is come," &c., yet even
that perfection must not be thought to be such as is the perfection
of God; for then should all that are saved be so many externals
and so many infinites, as he is infinite. But the meaning is,
we shall then be with the eternal, shall immediately enjoy him
with all the perfection of knowledge, as far as is possible for
a creature, when he is wrought up to the utmost height that his
created substance will bear to be capable of. But for all that,
this perfection will yet come short of the perfection of him that
made him, and consequently, short of knowing the utmost of his
love; since that in the root is his very essence and nature. I
know it says also, that we shall know even as we are known. But
yet this must not be understood, as if we should know God as fully
as he knows us. It would be folly and madness so to conclude; but
the meaning is, we are known for happiness; we are known of God,
for heaven and felicity; and when that which is perfect is come,
then shall we perfectly know, and enjoy that for which we are
now known of God. And this is that which the Apostle longed for,
namely, If by any means, he might apprehend that for which he was
also apprehended of Christ Jesus (Phil 3:12). That is, know, and
see that, unto the which he was appointed of God and apprehended
of Christ Jesus. 'Tis said again, "We shall be like him, for we
shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). This text has respect to
the Son, as to his humanity, and not as to his divinity. And not
as to his divinity, simply, or distinctly considered; for as to
that it is as possible for a spirit to drink up the sea, as for
the most enlarged saint that is, or ever shall be in glory, so to
see God as to know him altogether, to the utmost, or throughout.
But the humanity of the Son of God, we shall see throughout, in
all the beauty and glory that is upon him; and that was prepared
for him before the foundation of the world. And Christ will that
we see this glory, when he takes us up in glory to himself (John
17:24); but the utmost boundlessness of the divine majesty, the
eternal deity of the Son of God, cannot be known to the utmost
or altogether. I do not doubt, but that there will then in him,
I mean in Christ, and in us, break forth these glorious rays
and beams of the eternal majesty, as will make him in each of us
admirable one to another (2 Thess 1:10); and that then, that of
God shall be known of us, that now never entered into our hearts
to think of. But the whole, is not, cannot, shall never be fully
known of any. And therefore the love of Christ, it being essential
to himself, cannot be known because of the endlessness that is in
it. I said before, that which has no end, has no middle, how then
shall those that shall be in heaven eternally, ever pass over half
the breadth of eternity. True, I know that all enjoyments there
will be enjoyments eternal. Yea, that whatever we shall there
embrace, or what embraces we shall be embraced with, shall be
eternal; but I put a difference betwixt that which is eternal, as
to the nature, and that which is so as to the durableness thereof.
The nature of eternal things we shall enjoy, so soon as ever we
come to heaven, but the duration of eternal things, them we shall
never be able to pass through, for they are endless. So then, the
eternal love of Christ, as to the nature of it, will be perfectly
known of saints, when they shall dwell in heaven; but the endlessness
thereof they shall never attain unto. And this will be their
happiness. For could it be, that we should in heaven ever reach
the end of our blessedness: (as we should, could we reach to the
end of this love of Christ) why then, as the saying is, We should
be at the land's end, and feel the bottom of all our enjoyments.
Besides, whatsoever has an end, has a time to decay, and to
cease to be, as well as to have a time to shew forth its highest
excellencies. Wherefore, from all these considerations it is most
manifest, that the love of Christ is unsearchable, and that it
passes knowledge.

3. and 4. Now the other two things follow of course, to wit, That
this love is infinite and incomprehensible. Wherefore here is that
that still is above and beyond even those that are arrived to the
utmost of their perfections. And this, if I may so say, will keep
them in an employ, even when they are in heaven; though not an
employ that is laboursome, tiresome, burdensome, yet an employ
that is dutiful, delightful and profitable; for although the work
and worship of saints in heaven is not particularly revealed as
yet, and so "it doth not yet appear what we shall be," yet in the
general we may say, there will be that for them to do, that has
not yet by them been done, and by that work which they shall do
there, their delight will be delight unto them. The law was the
shadow and not the very image of heavenly things (Heb 10:1). The
image is an image, and not the heavenly things themselves (the
heavenly things they are saints) there shall be worship in the
heavens (Heb 9:23). Nor will this at all derogate from their glory.
The angels now wait upon God and serve him (Psa 103:20); the Son
of God, is now a minister, and waiteth upon his service in heaven
(Heb 8:1,2); some saints have been employed about service for God
after they have been in heaven (Luke 9:29-32); and why we should
be idle spectators, when we come thither, I see not reason to
believe. It may be said, "They there rest from their labours."
True, but not from their delights. All things then that once were
burdensome, whether in suffering or service, shall be done away,
and that which is delightful and pleasurable shall remain. But
then will be a time to receive, and not to work. True, if by work
you mean such as we now count work; but what if our work be there,
to receive and bless. The fishes in the sea do drink, swim and
drink. But for a further discourse of this, let that alone till
we come thither. But to come down again into the world, for now
we are talking of things aloft:

Reason Second, This love of Christ must needs be beyond our
knowledge, because we cannot possibly know the utmost of our sin.
Sin is that which sets out, and off, the knowledge of the love
of Christ. There are four things that must be spoken to for the
clearing of this. 1. The nature of sin. 2. The aggravations of sin.
3. The utmost tendencies of sin. 4. And the perfect knowledge of
all this.

1. Before we can know this love of Christ, as afore, we must
necessarily know the nature of sin, that is, what sin is, what sin
is in itself. But no man knows the nature of sin to the full; not
what sin in itself is to the full. The Apostle saith, "That sin,
[that is in itself] is exceeding sinful" (Rom 7:13). That is,
exceeding it as to its filthiness, goes beyond our knowledge: But
this is seen by the commandment. Now the reason why none can, to
the full, know the horrible nature of sin, is because none, to the
full, can know the blessed nature of the blessed God. For sin is
the opposite to God. There is nothing that seeketh absolutely,
and in its own nature to overcome, and to annihilate God, but sin,
and sin doth so. Sin is worse than the devil; he therefore that
is more afraid of the devil than of sin, knows not the badness
of sin as he ought; nor but little of the love of Jesus Christ.
He that knows not what sin would have done to the world, had not
Christ stepped betwixt those harms and it. How can he know so much
as the extent of the love of Christ in common? And he that knows
not what sin would have done to him in particular, had not Christ
the Lord, stepped in and saved, cannot know the utmost of the love
of Christ to him in particular. Sin therefore in the utmost evil
of it, cannot be known of us: so consequently the love of Christ
in the utmost goodness of it, cannot be known of us.

Besides, there are many sins committed by us, dropping from us,
and that pollute us, that we are not at all aware of; how then
should we know that love of Christ by which we are delivered from
them? Lord, "who can understand his errors?" said David (Psa
19:12). Consequently, who can understand the love that saves him
from them? moreover, he that knows the love of Christ to the full,
must also know to the full that wrath and anger of God, that like
hell itself, burneth against sinners for the sake of sin: but this
knows none. Lord, "who knoweth the power of thine anger?" said
Moses (Psa 90:11). Therefore none knows this love of Christ to
the full. The nature of sin is to get into our good, to mix itself
with our good, to lie lurking many times under the formality and
shew of good; and that so close, so cunningly, and invisibly,
that the party concerned, embraces it for virtue, and knows not
otherwise to do; and yet from this he is saved by the love of
Christ; and therefore, as was hinted but now, if a man doth not
know the nature of his wound, how should he know the nature and
excellency of the balsam that hath cured him of his wound.

2. There are the due aggravations that belong to sin, which men
are unacquainted with; it was one of the great things that the
prophets were concerned with from God towards the people, (as to
shew them their sins, so) to shew them what aggravations did belong
thereto (Jer 2, Jer 3, Eze 16).

There are sins against light, sins against knowledge, sins against
love, sins against learning, sins against threatenings, sins
against promises, vows and resolutions, sins against experience,
sins against examples of anger, and sins that have great, and
high, and strange aggravations attending of them; the which we are
ignorant of, though not altogether, yet in too great a measure.
Now if these things be so, how can the love that saveth us from
them be known or understood to the full?

Alas! our ignorance of these things is manifest by our unwillingness
to abide affliction, by our secret murmuring under the hand of
God; by our wondering why we are so chastised as we are, by our
thinking long that the affliction is no sooner removed.

Or, if our ignorance of the vileness of our actions is not manifest
this way, yet it is in our lightness under our guilt, our slight
thoughts of our doings, our slovenly doing of duties, and asking
of forgiveness after some evil or unbecoming actions. 'Tis to
no boot to be particular, the whole course of our lives doth too
fully make it manifest, that we are wonderful short in knowing
both the nature, and also the aggravations of our sins: and how
then should we know that love of Christ in its full dimensions,
by which we are saved and delivered therefrom?

3. Who knows the utmost tendencies of sin? I mean, what the least
sin driveth at, and what it would unavoidably run the sinner into.
There is not a plague, a judgment, an affliction, an evil under
heaven, that the least of our transgressions has not called for
at the hands of the great God! nay, the least sin calleth for all
the distresses that are under heaven, to fall upon the soul and
body of the sinner at once. This is plain, for that the least sin
deserveth hell; which is worse than all the plagues that are on
earth. But I say, who understandeth this? And I say again, if one
sin, the least sin deserveth all these things, what thinkest thou
do all thy sins deserve? how many judgments! how many plagues!
how many lashes with God's iron whip dost thou deserve? besides
there is hell itself, the place itself, the fire itself, the nature
of the torments, and the durableness of them, who can understand?

But this is not all, the tendencies of thy sins are to kill others.
Men, good men little think how many of their neighbours one of their
sins may kill. As, how many good men and good women do unawares,
through their uncircumspectness, drive their own children down into
the deep? (Psa 106:6,7) We will easily count them very hardhearted
sinners, that used to offer their children in sacrifice to devils;
when 'tis easy to do worse ourselves: they did but kill the body,
but we body and soul in hell, if we have not a care.

Do we know how our sins provoke God? how they grieve the Holy Ghost?
how they weaken our graces? how they spoil our prayers? how they
weaken faith? how they tempt Christ to be ashamed of us? and how
they hold back good from us? And if we know not every one of all
these things to the full, how shall we know to the full the love
of Christ which saveth us from them all?

4. Again, But who has the perfect knowledge of all these things?
I will grant that some good souls may have waded a great way in
some one, or more of them; but I know that there is not any that
thoroughly know them all. And yet the love of Christ doth save
us from all, notwithstanding all the vileness and soul-damning
virtue12 that is in them. Alas! how short are we of the knowledge
of ourselves, and of what is in us. How many are there that do
not know that man consisteth of a body made of dust, and of an
immortal soul? Yea, and how many be there of those that confess
it, that know not the constitution of either. I will add, how
many are there that profess themselves to be students of those
two parts of man, that have oftentimes proved themselves to be
but fools as to both? and I will conclude that there is not a man
under heaven that knoweth it all together: For man is "fearfully
and wonderfully made" (Psa 139:14): nor can the manner of the
union of these two parts be perfectly found out. How much more
then must we needs be at loss as to the fullness of the knowledge
of the love of Christ? But,

Reason Third, He that altogether knoweth the love of Christ, must,
precedent to that, know not only all the wiles of the devil; but
also all the plottings, contrivings and designs and attempts of
that wicked one; yea, he must know, all the times that he hath been
with God, together with all the motions that he has made that he
might have leave to fall upon us, as upon Job and Peter, to try
if he might swallow us up (Job 1 and 2, Luke 22:31). But who knows
all this? no man, no angel. For, if the heart of man be so deep,
that none, by all his actions, save God, can tell the utmost
secrets that are therein; how should the heart of angels, which
in all likelihood are deeper, be found out by any mortal man.
And yet this must be found out before we can find out the utmost
of the love of Christ to us. I conclude therefore from all these
things, that the love of Christ passeth knowledge: or that by no
means, the bottom, the utmost bounds thereof can be understood.

Reason Fourth, He that will presume to say, this love of Christ can
be to the utmost known by us, must presume to say that he knoweth
the utmost of the merits of his blood, the utmost exercise of his
patience, the utmost of his intercession, the utmost of the glory
that he has prepared and taken possession of for us. But I presume
that there is none that can know all this, therefore I may without
any fear assert, there is none that knows, that is, that knows to
the full, the other.

We come now more particularly to speak of the knowledge of the
love of Christ; we have spoken of the love of Christ; and of the
exceeding greatness of it: and now we come,

THIRD, To speak of the knowledge of it; that is to say, we will
shew

WHAT KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST'S LOVE IS ATTAINABLE IN THIS WORLD,

under these three heads. As to this, First, It may be known as to
the nature of it. Second, It may be known in many of the degrees
of it. Third, But the greatest knowledge that we can have of it
here, is to know that it passes knowledge.

First, We may know it in the nature of it. That is, that it is
love free, divine, heavenly, everlasting, incorruptible. And this
no love is but the love of Christ; all other love is either love
corruptible, transient, mixed, or earthly. It is divine, for 'tis
the love of the holy nature of God. It is heavenly, for that it
is from above: it is everlasting, for that it has no end: it is
immortal, for that there is not the appearance of corruptibleness
in it, or likelihood of decay.

This is general knowledge, and this is common among the saints,
at leastwise in the notion of it. Though I confess, it is hard in
time of temptation, practically to hold fast the soul to all these
things. But, as I have said already, this love of Christ must be
such, because love in the root of it, is essential to his nature,
as also I have proved now, as is the root, such are the branches;
and as is the spring, such are the streams, unless the channels
in which those streams do run, should be corrupted, and so defile
it; but I know no channels through which this love of Christ is
conveyed unto us, but those made in his side, his hands, and his
feet, &c. Or those gracious promises that dropped like honey from
his holy lips, in the day of his love, in which he spake them:
and seeing his love is conveyed to us, as through those channels,
and so by the conduit of the holy and blessed spirit of God, to
our hearts, it cannot be that it should hitherto be corrupted. I
know the cisterns, to wit, our hearts, into which it is conveyed,
are unclean, and may take away much, through the damp that they
may put upon it, of the native savour and sweetness thereof. I
know also, that there are those that tread down, and muddy those
streams with their feet (Eze 34:18,19); but yet neither the love
nor the channels in which it runs, should bear the blame of this.
And I hope those that are saints indeed, will not only be preserved
to eternal life, but nourished with this that is incorruptible
unto the day of Christ. I told you before, that in the hour of
temptation, it will be hard for the soul to hold fast to these
things; that is, to the true definition of this love; for then,
or at such seasons, it will not be admitted that the love of
Christ is either transient, or mixed; but we count that we cannot
be loved long, unless something better than yet we see in us, be
found there, as an inducement to Christ to love, and to continue
to love our poor souls (Isa 64:6). But these the Christian at length
gets over; for he sees, by experience, he hath no such inducement
(Deu 9:5); also, that Christ loves freely, and not for, or because
of such poor, silly, imaginary enticements (Eze 16:60-62). Thus
therefore the love of Christ may be known, that is, in the nature
of it: it may, I say, but not easily (Eze 36:25-33). For this
knowledge is neither easily got, though got, nor easily retained,
though retained. There is nothing that Satan setteth himself more
against, than the breaking forth of the love of Christ in its
own proper native lustre. For he knows it destroys his kingdom,
which standeth in profaneness, in errors and delusions, the only
destruction of which is the knowledge of this love of Christ (2 Cor
5:14). What mean those swarms of opinions that are in the world?
what is the reason that some are carried about as clouds, with a
tempest? what mean men's waverings, men's changing, and interchanging
truth for error, and one error for another? why, this is the thing,
the devil is in it. This work is his, and he makes this ado, to
make a dust; and a dust to darken the light of the gospel withal.
And if he once attaineth to that, then farewell the true knowledge
of the love of Christ.

Also he will assault the spirits of Christians with divers and sundry
cogitations, such as shall have in them a tendency to darken the
judgment, delude the fancy, to abuse the conscience. He has an art
to metamorphose all things. He can make God seem to be to us, a
most fierce and terrible destroyer; and Christ a terrible exactor
of obedience, and most amazingly pinching of his love. He can
make supposed sins unpardonable; and unpardonable ones, appear as
virtues. He can make the law to be received for gospel, and cause
that the gospel shall be thrown away as a fable. He can persuade,
that faith is fancy, and that fancy is the best faith in the world.
Besides, he can tickle the heart with false hope of a better life
hereafter, even as if the love of Christ were there. But, as I
said before, from all these things the true love of Christ in the
right knowledge of it, delivereth those that have it shed abroad
in the heart by the Holy Ghost that he hath given (Rom 5). Wherefore
it is for this purpose that Christ biddeth us to continue in his
love (John 15:9); because the right knowledge, and faith of that
to the soul, disperseth and driveth away all such fogs, and mists
of darkness; and makes the soul to sit fast in the promise of
eternal life by him; yea, and to grow up into him who is the head,
"in all things."

Before I leave this head, I will present my reader with these
things, as helps to the knowledge of the love of Christ. I mean
the knowledge of the nature of it, and as HELPS to retain it.

Help First, Know thy self, what a vile, horrible, abominable sinner
thou art: For thou canst not know the love of Christ, before thou
knowest the badness of thy nature. "O wretched man that I am" (Rom
7:24), must be, before a man can perceive the nature of the love
of Christ. He that sees himself but little, will hardly know much
of the love of Christ: he that sees of himself nothing at all,
will hardly ever see anything of the love of Christ. But he that
sees most of what an abominable wretch he is, he is like to see
most of what is the love of Christ. All errors in doctrine take
their rise from the want of this (I mean errors in doctrine as
to justification). All the idolizing of men's virtues, and human
inventions, riseth also from the want of this. So then if a man
would be kept sure and stedfast, let him labour before all things
to know his own wretchedness. People naturally think that the
knowledge of their sins is the way to destroy them; when in very
deed, it is the first step to salvation. Now if thou wouldest
know the badness of thy self, begin in the first place to study
the law, then thy heart, and so thy life. The law thou must look
into, for that's the glass; thy heart thou must look upon, for
that's the face; thy life thou must look upon, for that's the
body of a man, as to religion (James 1:25). And without the wary
consideration of these three, 'tis not to be thought that a man
can come at the knowledge of himself, and consequently to the
knowledge of the love of Christ (James 1:26,27).

Help Second, Labour to see the emptiness, shortness, and the
pollution that cleaveth to a man's own righteousness. This also
must in some measure be known, before a man can know the nature
of the love of Christ. They that see nothing of the loathsomeness
of man's best things, will think, that the love of Christ is of
that nature as to be procured, or won, obtained or purchased by
man's good deeds. And although so much gospel light is broke forth
as to stop men's mouths from saying this, yet 'tis nothing else
but sound conviction of the vileness of man's righteousness, that
will enable men to see that the love of Christ is of that nature,
as to save a man without it; as to see that it is of that nature
as to justify him without it: I say, without it, or not at all. There
is shortness, there is hypocrisy, there is a desire of vain glory,
there is pride, there is presumption in man's own righteousness:
nor can it be without these wickednesses, when men know not the
nature of the love of Christ. Now these defile it, and make it
abominable. Yea, if there were no imperfection in it, but that
which I first did mention, to wit, shortness; how could it cover
the nakedness of him that hath it, or obtain for the man, in whole
or in part, that Christ should love, and have respect unto him.

Occasions many thou hast given thee to see the emptiness of man's
own righteousness, but all will not do unless thou hast help from
heaven: wherefore thy wisdom will be, if thou canst tell where
to find it, to lie in the way of God, that when he comes to visit
the men that wait upon him in the means of his own appointing,
thou mayest be there; if perhaps he may cast an eye of pity upon
thy desolate soul, and make thee see the things above mentioned.
That thou mayest know the nature of the love of Christ.

Help Third, If thou wouldest know the nature of this love, be much
in acquainting of thy soul with the nature of the law, and the
nature of the gospel (Gal 3:21). The which though they are not
diametrically opposite one to another, yet do propound things so
differently to man, that if he knows not where, when, and how to
take them, 'tis impossible but that he should confound them, and
in confounding of them, lose his own soul (Rom 9:31,32). The law
is a servant, both first and last, to the gospel (Rom 10:3,4): when
therefore it is made a Lord, it destroyeth: and then to be sure
it is made a Lord and Saviour of, when its dictates and commands
are depended upon for life.

Thy wisdom therefore will be to study these things distinctly, and
thoroughly; for so far as thou art ignorant of the true knowledge
of the nature of these, so far thou art ignorant of the true
knowledge of the nature of the love of Christ. Read Paul to the
Galatians, that epistle was indicted by the Holy Ghost, on purpose
to direct the soul, in, and about this very thing.

Help Fourth, The right knowledge of the nature of the love of Christ,
is obtained, and retained, by keeping of these two doctrines at an
everlasting distance as to the conscience; to wit, not suffering
the law to rule but over my outward man, not suffering the gospel
to be removed one hair's breadth from my conscience. When Christ
dwells in my heart by faith (Eph 3:17), and the moral law dwells
in my members (Col 3:5), the one to keep up peace with God, the
other to keep my conversation in a good decorum: then am I right,
and not till then.

But this will not be done without much experience, diligence, and
delight in Christ. For there is nothing that Satan more desireth,
than that the law may abide in the conscience of an awakened
Christian, and there take up the place of Christ, and faith; for
he knows if this may be obtained, the vail is presently drawn over
the face of the soul, and the heart darkened as to the knowledge
of Christ; and being darkened, the man is driven into despair of
mercy, or is put upon it to work for life (2 Cor 3:13-15). There
is therefore, as I say, much diligence required of him that will
keep these two in their places assigned them of God. I say much
diligent study of the word, diligent prayer; with diligence to
walk with God in the world. But we will pass this, and come to
the second head.

Secondly, As the love of Christ may be known in the nature of it,
so it may be known in many degrees of it. That which is knowable,
admits of degrees of knowledge: the love of Christ is knowable.
Again, that which is not possible to be known to the utmost, is
to be known, we know not how much; and therefore they that seek
to know it, should never be contented or satisfied to what degree
of the knowledge of it soever they attain; but still should be
reaching forward, because there is more to be known of it before
them. "Brethren," said Paul, "I count not myself to have apprehended,
(that is to the utmost) but this one thing I do, forgetting those
things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things
which are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the
high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil 3:13,14). I might here
discourse of many things, since I am upon this head of reaching
after the knowledge of the love of Christ in many of the degrees
of it. But I shall content myself with few.

1. He that would know the love of Christ in several degrees of
it, must begin at his person, for in him dwells all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge. Nay, more; In him "are hid all the
treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2:3). In him, that is, in
his person: For, for the godhead of Christ, and our nature to be
united in one person, is the highest mystery, and the first
appearance of the love of Christ by himself, to the world (1 Tim
3:16). Here I say, lie hid the treasures of wisdom, and here, to
the world, springs forth the riches of his love (John 1:14). That
the eternal word, for the salvation of sinners, should come down
from heaven and be made flesh, is an act of such condescension, a
discovery of such love, that can never to the full be found out.
Only here we may see, love in him was deep, was broad, was long,
and high: let us therefore first begin here to learn to know the
love of Christ, in the high degrees thereof.

(1.) Here, in the first place, we perceive love, in that the human
nature, the nature of man, not of angels, is taken into union with
God. Who so could consider this, as it is possible for it to be
considered, would stand amazed till he died with wonder. By this
very act of the heavenly wisdom, we have an inconceivable pledge
of the love of Christ to man: for in that he hath taken into
union with himself our nature, what doth it signify, but that he
intendeth to take into union with himself our person. For, for this
very purpose did he assume our nature. Wherefore we read that in
the flesh he took upon him, in that flesh, he died for us, the
just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God (1 Peter 3:18).

(2.) As he was made flesh, so as was said afore, he became a public
or common person for us: and hereby is perceived another degree
of his love; undertaking to do for his, what was not possible they
should do for themselves, perfecting of righteousness to the very
end of the law, and doing for us, to the reconciling of us unto
his Father, and himself (Rom 10:3,4, 3:24).

(3.) Herein also we may attain to another degree of knowledge of
his love, by understanding that he has conquered, and so disabled
our foes, that they cannot now accomplish their designed enmity
upon us (Rom 5, Eph 5:26,27): but that when Satan, death, the grave
and sin have done to his people, whatever can by them be done, we
shall be still more than conquerors, (though on our side be many
disadvantages), through him that has loved us, over them (Rom
8:37).

(4.) By this also we may yet see more of his love, in that as a
forerunner, he is gone into heaven to take possession thereof for
us (Heb 6:20): there to make ready, and to prepare for us our
summer-houses, our mansion, dwelling-places. As if we were the
lords, and he the servant! (John 14:2,3) Oh this love!

(5.) Also we may see another degree of his love, in this, that
now in his absence, he has sent the third person in the Trinity to
supply his place as another comforter of us (John 16:7, 15:26),
that we may not think he has forgot us, not be left destitute of
a revealer of truth unto us (John 14:16). Yea, he has sent him to
fortify our spirits, and to strengthen us under all adversity; and
against our enemies of what account, or degree soever (Luke 21:15).

(6.) In this also we may see yet more of the love of Christ, in
that though he is in heaven and we on earth: Nothing can happen
to his people to hurt them, but he feels it, is touched with it,
and counteth it as done unto himself: Yea, sympathizes with them,
and is afflicted, and grieved in their griefs, and their afflictions.

(7.) Another thing by which also yet more of the love of Christ
is made manifest, and so may by us be known, is this: He is now,
and has been ever since his ascension into glory, laying out himself
as high-priest for us (Heb 7:24-26), that by the improving13 of
his merits before the throne of grace, in way of intercession, he
might preserve us from the ruins that our daily infirmities would
bring upon us (Heb 8:12): yea, and make our persons and performances
acceptable in his Father's sight (Rom 5:10, 1 Peter 2:5).

(8.) We also see yet more of his love by this, that he will have
us where himself is, that we may behold and be partakers of his
glory (John 17:24). And in this degree of his love, there are many
loves.

Then he will come for us, as a bridegroom for his bride (Matt
25:6-10). Then shall a public marriage be solemnized, and eternized
betwixt him and his church (Rev 19:6,7). Then she shall be wrapped
up in his mantles and robes of glory (Col 3:4). Then they shall be
separated, and separated from other sinners, and all things that
offend shall be taken away from among them (Matt 25:31, 13:41).
Then shall they be exalted to thrones, and power of judgment;
and shall also sit in judgment on sinful men and fallen angels,
acquiescing, by virtue of authority, with their king and head,
upon them (1 Cor 6:2,3). Then or from thenceforth for ever, there
shall be no more death, sorrow, hidings of his face, or eclipsing
of their glory for ever (Luke 20:36). And thus you may see what
rounds this our Jacob's ladder hath, and how by them we may climb,
and climb, even until we are climbed up to heaven: but now we are
set again; for all the glories, all the benefits, all the blessings,
and all the good things that are laid up in heaven for these; Who
can understand?

2. A second thing whereby the love of Christ is some degrees of
it may be known, is this: That he should pass by angels and take
hold of us. Who so considereth the nature of spirits, as they are
God's workmanship, must needs confess, that as such, they have a
pre-eminency above that which is made of dust: This then was the
disparity 'twixt us and them; they being, by birth, far more noble
than we. But now, when both are fallen, and by our fall, both in
a state of condemnation, that Jesus Christ should choose to take
up us, the most inconsiderable, and pass by them, to their eternal
perdition and destruction: O love! love in a high degree to man:
For verily he took not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham
he took hold (Heb 2:16). Yet this is not all: In all probability
this Lord Jesus has ten times as much to do now he has undertaken
to be our Saviour, as he would have had, had he stepped over us
and taken hold on them.

(1.) He needed not to have stooped so low as to take flesh upon
him; theirs being a more noble nature.

(2.) Nor would he in all likelihood, have met with those contempts,
those scorns, those reproaches and undervaluings from them, as he
has all-along received in this his undertaking, and met with from
sinful flesh. For they were more noble than we, and would sooner
have perceived the design of grace, and so one would think more
readily have fallen in therewith, than [creatures in] such darkness
as we were, and still by sin are.

(3.) They would not have had those disadvantages as we, for that
they would not have had a tempter, a destroyer, so strong and
mighty as ours is. Alas! had God left us, and taken them, though
we should have been ever so full of envy against their salvation;
yet being but flesh, what could we have done to them to have laid
obstacles in the way of their faith and hope, as they can and do
in ours?

(4.) They, it may fairly be presumed, had they been taken, and we
left, and made partakers in our sted, while we had been shut out,
as they are, would not have put Christ so to it, now in heaven
(pray bear with the expression, because I want a better) as we by
our imperfections have done and do. Sin, methinks, would not have
so hanged in their natures as it doth in ours: their reason, and
sense, and apprehensions being more quick, and so more apt to have
been taken with this love of Christ, and by it more easily have
been sanctified.

(5.) The law which they have broken, being not so intricate, as
that against which we have offended, theirs being a commandment
with faithfulness to abide in the place in which their Creator had
set them; methinks, considering also the aptness of their natures
as angels, would not have made their complete obedience so difficult.

(6.) Nor can I imagine, but had they been taken, they, as creatures
excelling in strength, would have been more capable of rendering
these praises and blessings to God for eternal mercies, than such
poor sorry creatures as we are, could. But! "behold what manner
of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called
the children of God" (1 John 3:1). That we, not they, that we
notwithstanding all that they have, or could have done to hinder
it, should be called the children of God.

This therefore is an high degree of the love of Jesus Christ to
us, that when we and they were fallen, he should stoop and take up
us, the more ignoble, and leave so mighty a creature in his sins
to perish.

3. A third thing whereby the love of Christ in some of the degrees
of it may be known, will be to consider more particularly the
way, and unwearied work that he hath with man to bring him to that
kingdom, that by his blood he hath obtained for him.

(1.) Man, when the Lord Jesus takes him in hand to make him partaker
of the benefit, is found an enemy to his redeemer; nor doth all
the intelligence that he has had of the grace and love of Christ
to such, mollify him at all, to wit, before the day of God's power
comes (Rom 4:5, 5:7-10). And this is a strange thing. Had man,
though he could not have come to Christ, been willing that Christ
should have come to him, it had been something; it would have shewn
that he had taken his grace to heart, and considered of it: yea,
and that he was willing to be a sharer in it. But verily here is
no such thing; man, though he has free will, yet is willing by no
means to be saved God's way, to wit, by Jesus Christ, before (as
was said before) the day of God's power comes upon him. When the
good shepherd went to look for his sheep that was lost in the
wilderness, and had found it: did it go one step homewards upon
its own legs? did not the shepherd take her and lay her upon his
shoulder, and bring her home rejoicing (Luke 15). This then is
not love only, but love to a degree.

(2.) When man is taken, and laid under the day of God's power:
When Christ is opening his ear to discipline, and speaking to him
that his heart may receive instruction; many times that poor man
is, as if the devil had found him, and not God. How frenzily he
imagines? how crossly he thinks? How ungainly he carries it under
convictions, counsels, and his present apprehension of things?
I know some are more powerfully dealt withal, and more strongly
bound at first by the world; but others more in an ordinary manner,
that the flesh, and reason may be seen, to the glory of Christ.
Yea, and where the will is made more quickly to comply with its
salvation, 'tis no thanks to the sinner at all (Job 4:18). 'Tis
the day of the power of the Lord that has made the work so soon
to appear. Therefore count this an act of love, in the height of
love; Love in a great degree (John 15:16).

(3.) When Christ Jesus has made this mad man to come to himself,
and persuaded him to be willing to accept of his salvation: yet
he may not be trusted, nor left alone, for then the corruptions
that still lie scattering up and down in his flesh will tempt him
to it, and he will be gone; yea, so desperately wicked is the flesh
of saints, that should they be left to themselves but a little
while, none knows what horrible transgressions would break out.
Proof of this we have to amazement, plentifully scattered here
and there in the word. Hence we have the patience of God, and
his gentleness so admired (2 Chron 32:21): for through that it is
that they are preserved. He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers
nor sleeps (Psa 121:4), but watches for them, and over them every
moment, for he knows else they will be hurt (Isa 27:3).

(4.) Yea, notwithstanding this, how often are saints found playing
truant, and lurking like thieves in one hole or other. Now, in
the guilt of backsliding by the power of this, and then in filth
by the power of that corruption (Jer 2:26). Yea, and when found in
such decayings, and under such revoltings from God, how commonly
do they hide their sin with Adam, and David, even until their
Saviour fireth out of their mouths a confession of the truth of
their naughtiness. "When I keep silence," said David, (and yet he
chose to keep silence after he had committed his wickedness) "my
bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and
night thy hand was heavy upon me, my moisture is turned into the
drought of summer" (Psa 32:3,4). but why didst thou not confess
what thou hadst done then? So I did, saith he, at last, and thou
forgavest the iniquity of my sin (verse 5).

(5.) When the sins of saints are so visible and apparent to others,
that God for the vindication of his name and honour must punish
them in the sight of others; yea, must do it, as he is just: Yet
then for Christ's sake, he waveth such judgments, and refuseth to
inflict such punishments as naturally tend to their destruction,
and chooseth to chastise them with such rods and scourges, as may
do them good in the end; and that they may not be condemned with
the world (1 Cor 11:31,32). Wherefore the Lord loves them, and
they are blessed, whom he chasteneth and teacheth out of his law
(Heb 12:5-8, Psa 94:12). And these things are love to a degree.

(6.) That Christ should supply out of his fullness the beginnings
of grace in our souls, and carry on that work of so great concern,
and that which at times we have so little esteem of, is none of
the least of the aggravations of the love of Christ to his people.
And this work is as common as any of the works of Christ, and
as necessary to our salvation, as is his righteousness, and the
imputation thereof to our justification: For else how could we
hold out to the end (Matt 24:13); and yet none else can be saved.

(7.) And that the love of Christ should be such to us that he
will thus act, thus do to, and for us, with gladness; (as afore
is manifest by the parable of the lost sheep) is another degree
of his love towards us: And such an one too, as is none of the
lowest rate. I have seen hot love, soon cold; and love that has
continued to act, yet act towards the end, as the man that by
running, and has run himself off his legs, pants, and can hardly
run any longer: but I never saw love like the love of Christ, who
as a giant, and bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and as a
strong man, rejoiceth to run his race (Psa 19:5). Loving higher
and higher, stronger and stronger, I mean as to the lettings out
of love, for he reserveth the best wine even till the last (John
2:10).

(8.) I will conclude with this, that his love may be known in many
degrees of it, by that sort of sinners whose salvation he most
rejoiceth in, and that is, in the salvation of the sinners that are
of the biggest size: Great sinners, Jerusalem sinners, Samaritan
sinners, publican sinners. I might urge moreover, how he hath
proportioned invitations, promises and examples of his love, for
the encouragement and support of those whose souls would trust in
him: By which also great degrees of his love may be understood.
But we will come now to the third thing that was propounded.

Thirdly, But the greatest attainment that as to the understanding
of the love of Christ, we can arrive to here, is to know that
it passes knowledge: And to know the love of Christ that passeth
knowledge. This truth discovereth itself,

1. By the text itself, for the Apostle here, in this prayer of his
for the Ephesians, doth not only desire that they may know, but
describeth that thing which he prays they may know, by this term,
It passeth knowledge. And to know the love of Christ which passeth
knowledge. As our reason and carnal imagination will be rudely,
and unduly tampering with any thing of Christ, so more especially
with the love and kindness of Christ: Judging and concluding that
just such it is, and none other, as may be apprehended by them:
Yea, and will have a belief that just so, and no otherwise are
the dimensions of this love; nor can it save beyond our carnal
conceptions of it. Saying to the soul as Pharaoh once did to Israel
in another case: "Let the Lord be with you as I shall" (judge it
meet he should) "let you go." We think Christ loves us no more
than we do think he can, and so conclude that his love is such as
may by us be comprehended, or known to the utmost bounds thereof.
But these are false conceptions, and this love of Christ that
we think is such, is indeed none of the love of Christ, but a
false image thereof, set before our eyes. I speak not now of weak
knowledge, but of foolish and bold conclusions. A man through
unbelief may think that Christ has no love for him, and yet Christ
may love him with a love that passeth knowledge. But when men in
the common course of their profession, will be always terminating
here, that they know how, and how far Christ can love, and
will thence be bold to conclude of their own safety, and of the
loss and ruin of all that are not in the same notions, opinions,
formalities, or judgments as they: this is the worst and greatest
of all. The text therefore, to rectify those false and erroneous
conclusions, says, It is a love that passeth knowledge.

And it will be worth our observation to take notice that men,
erroneous men, do not put these limits so commonly to the Father
and his love, as [to] the Son and his. Hence you have some that
boast that God can save some who have not the knowledge of the
person of the mediator Jesus Christ the righteous; as the heathens
that have, and still do make a great improvement of the law and
light of nature: crying out with disdain against the narrowness,
rigidness, censoriousness, and pride of those that think the
contrary. Being not ashamed all the while to eclipse, to degrade,
to lessen and undervalue the love of Jesus Christ; making of him
and his undertakings, to offer himself a sacrifice to appease the
justice of God for our sins, but a thing indifferent, and in its
own nature but as other smaller matters.

But all this while the devil knows full well at what game he plays,
for he knows that without Christ, without faith in his blood, there
is no remission of sins. Wherefore, saith he, let these men talk
what they will of the greatness of the love of God as creator, so
they sleight and undervalue the love of Christ as mediator. And
yet it is worth our consideration, that the greatness of the love
of God is most expressed in his giving of Christ to be a Saviour,
and in bestowing his benefits upon us that we may be happy through
him.

But to return, The love of Christ that is so indeed, is love that
passeth knowledge: and the best and highest of our knowledge of
it is, that we know it to be such.

2. Because I find that at this point, the great men of God, of old,
were wont to stop, be set, and beyond which they could not pass.
'Twas this that made Moses wonder (Deu 4:31-34). 'Twas this that
made David cry out, How great and wonderful are the works of God?
"thy thoughts to usward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto
thee: If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than
can be numbered" (Psa 40:5). And again, "How precious also are thy
thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should
count them, they are more in number than the sand" (Psa 139:17,18).
And a little before, "such knowledge is too wonderful for me"
(verse 6). Isaiah saith, there hath not entered into the heart of
man what God has prepared for them that wait for him (Isa 64:4).
Ezekiel says, this is the river that cannot be passed over (47:5):
And Micah to the sea, (7:19) and Zechariah to a fountain, hath
compared this unsearchable love (13:1). Wherefore the Apostle's
position, That the love of Christ is that which passeth knowledge,
is a truth not to be doubted of: Consequently, to know this, and
that it is such, is the farthest that we can go. This is to justify
God, who has said it, and to magnify the Son, who has loved us
with such a love: And the contrary is to dishonour him, to lessen
him, and to make him a deficient Saviour. For suppose this should
be true, that thou couldest to the utmost comprehend this love;
yet unless, by thy knowledge thou canst comprehend beyond all
evil of sin, or beyond what any man sins, who shall be saved, can
spread themselves or infect: Thou must leave some pardonable man
in an unpardonable condition. For that thou canst comprehend this
love, and yet canst not comprehend that sin. This makes Christ a
deficient Saviour. Besides, if thou comprehendest truly; the word
that says, it passeth knowledge, hast lost its sanctity, its truth.

It must therefore be, that this love passeth knowledge; and that
the highest pitch that a man by knowledge can attain unto, as to
this, is to know that it passeth knowledge. My reason is, for that
all degrees of love, be they never so high, or many, and high, yet,
if we can comprehend them, rest in the bowels of our knowledge,
for that only which is beyond us, is that which passeth knowledge.
That which we can reach, cannot be the highest: And if a man
thinks there is nothing beyond what he can reach, he has no more
knowledge as to that: but if he knows that together with what he
hath already reached, there is that which he cannot reach, before
[him]; then he has a knowledge for that also, even a knowledge, that
it passeth knowledge. 'Tis true a man that thus knoweth may have
divers conjectures about that thing that is beyond his knowledge. Yea,
in reason it will be so, because he knows that there is something
yet before him: But since the thing itself is truly beyond his
knowledge, none of his conjectures about that thing may be counted
knowledge. Or suppose a man that thus conjectureth, should hit
right as to what he now conjectures; his right hitting about that
thing may not be called knowledge: It is as yet to him but as an
uncertain guess, and is still beyond this knowledge.

Quest. But, may some say, what good will it do a man to know that
the love of Christ passeth knowledge? one would think that it should
do one more good to believe that the knowledge of the whole love
of Christ might be attainable.

Answer. That there is an advantage in knowing that the love of
Christ passeth knowledge; must not be questioned, for that the
Apostle saith it doth (2 Tim 3:16). For to know what the holy word
affirms, is profitable: nor would he pray that we might know that
which passeth knowledge, were there not by our knowing of it, some
help to be administered. But to shew you some of the advantages
that will come to us by knowing that the love of Christ passeth
knowledge.

(1.) By knowing of this a child of God has in reserve for himself,
at a day, when all that he otherwise knows, may be taken from him
through the power of temptation. Sometimes a good man may be so
put to it, that all that he knows comprehensively may be taken from
him: to wit, the knowledge of the truth of his faith, or that he
has the grace of God in him, or the like, that I say may be taken
from him. Now if at this time, he knows the love of Christ that
passeth knowledge, he knows a way in all probability to be recovered
again. For if Christ Jesus loves with a love that passeth knowledge:
then, saith the soul, that is thus in the dark, he may love me
yet, for ought I know, for I know that he loves with a love that
passeth knowledge; and therefore I will not utterly despond. Yea,
if Satan should attempt to question whether ever Christ Jesus will
look upon me or no: the answer is, if I know the love that passes
knowledge: But he may look upon me, (O, Satan) yea, and love,
and save me too, for ought I poor sinner know; for he loves with
a love that passeth knowledge. If I be fallen into sin that lies
hard upon me, and my conscience fears, that for this there is no
forgiveness. The help for a stay from utter despair is at hand:
but there may, say I, for Christ loves, with a love that passeth
knowledge. If Satan would dissuade me from praying to God,
by suggesting as if Christ would not regard the stammering, and
chattering prayer of mine. The answer is ready, but he may regard
for ought I know; for he loves with a love that passeth knowledge.
If the tempter doth suggest that thy trials, and troubles, and
afflictions, are so many, that it is to be thought thou shall
never get beyond them. The answer is near, but for ought we know,
Christ may carry me through them all, for he loves with a love
that passeth knowledge. Thus I say, is relief at hand, and a help
in reserve for the tempted, let their temptations be what they will.
This therefore is the weapon that will baffle the devil when all
other weapons fail; for ought I know, Christ may save me, for he
loves with a love that passeth knowledge. Yea, suppose he should
drive me to the worst of fears, and that is to doubt that I
neither have nor shall have for ever the grace of God in my soul.
The answer is at hand, but I have or may have it, for Christ
loves with a love that passeth knowledge. Thus therefore you may
see that in this prayer of Paul, there is a great deal of good.
He prays, when he prays that we might know the love of Christ that
passeth knowledge: that we may have a help at hand, and relief
against all the horrible temptations of the devil. For this is a
help at hand, a help that is ready to fall in with us, if there
be yet remaining with us, but the least grain of right reasoning
according to the nature of things. For if it be objected against
a man that he is poor, because he has but a groat in his pocket;
yet if he has an unknown deal of money in his trunks, how easy
is it for him to recover himself from that slander, by returning
the knowledge of what he has, upon the objector. This is the case,
and thus it is, and will be with them that know the love of Christ
that passeth knowledge. Wherefore,

(2.) By this knowledge, room is made for a Christian, and liberty
is ministered unto him, to turn himself every way in all spiritual
things. This is the Christian's rehoboth, that well for which the
Philistines have no heart to strive, and that which will cause
that we be fruitful in the land (Gen 26:22).

If Christians know not with this knowledge, they walk in the world
as if they were pinioned; or as if fetters were hanged on their
heels. But this enlarged their steps under them (2 Sam 22:37):
by the knowledge of this love they may walk at liberty, and their
steps shall not be straitened. This is that which Solomon intends
when he saith, "Get wisdom, and get understanding" (Prov 4:5).
Then "when thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened, and when
thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble" (Prov 4:12). A man that has
only from hand to mouth, is oft put to it to know how to use his
penny, and comes off also, many times, but with an hungry belly;
but he that has, not only that, but always over and to spare, he
is more at liberty, and can live in fullness, and far more like a
gentleman. There is a man has a cistern, and that is full of water:
there is another also, that has his cistern full, and withal, his
spring in his yard; but a great drought is upon the land in which
they dwell: I would now know, which of these two have the most
advantage to live in their own minds at liberty, without fear of
wanting water? Why this is the case in hand. There is a Christian
that knows Christ in all those degrees of his love that are
knowable, but he knoweth Christ nothing in his love that passeth
knowledge. There is another Christian, and he knows Christ, as the
first, but withal, he also knows him as to his love that passeth
knowledge. Pray now tell me, which of these two are likeliest to
live most like a Christian, that is, like a spiritual prince, and
like him that possesseth all things? which has most advantage to
live in godly largeness of heart, and is most at liberty in his
mind? which of these two have the greatest advantage to believe,
and the greatest engagements laid upon him to love the Lord Jesus?
which of these have also most in readiness to resist the wiles of
the devil, and to subdue the power and prevalency of corruptions?
'Tis this, that makes men fathers in Christianity. "I write unto
you, fathers, because ye have known;--I have written unto you,
fathers, because ye have known" (1 John 2:13-14), why, have not
others known, not so as the fathers? The fathers have known and
known. They have known the love of Christ in those degrees of love
which are knowable, and have also known the love of Christ to be
such which passeth knowledge. In my father's house is bread enough
and to spare, was that that fetched the prodigal home (Luke
15:17). And when Moses would speak an endless all to Israel, for
the comfort and stay of their souls, he calls their God, "The
fountain of Jacob upon a land of corn and wine" (Deu 33:28).

(3.) By this knowledge, or knowing of the love of Christ which
passeth knowledge, there is begot in Christians a greater desire to
press forwards to that which is before them (Phil 3:12-21). What
is the reason of all that sloth, carnal contentedness, and listlessness
of spirit in Christians, more than the ignorance of this. For he
that thinks he knows what can be known, is beyond all reason that
should induce him to seek yet after more. Now the love of Christ
may be said, not to be knowable, upon a threefold account: [namely].
For that my knowledge is weak. For that my knowledge is imperfect.
Or for that, though my knowledge be never so perfect, because the
love of Christ is eternal.

There is love that is not to be apprehended by weak knowledge.
Convince a man of this, and then, if the knowledge of what he
already has, be truly sweet to his soul (Prov 2:10), it will stir
him up with great heartiness to desire to know what more of this
is possible.

There is love beyond what he knows already, who is indued with the
most perfect knowledge, that man here may have. Now if what this
man knows already of this love is indeed sweet unto him; then it
puts him upon hearty desires that his soul may yet know more. And
because there is no bound set to man, how much he may know in this
life thereof; therefore his desires, notwithstanding what he has
attained, are yet kept alive, and in the pursuit after the knowledge
of more of the love of Christ. And God in old time has taken it
so well at the hands of some of his, that their desires have been
so great, that when, as I may say, they have known as much on earth
as is possible for them to know; (that is by ordinary means) he
has come down to them in visions and revelations; or else taken
them up to him for an hour or two into paradise, that they might
know, and then let them down again.

But this is not all, There is a knowledge of the love of Christ,
that we are by no means capable of until we be possessed of the
heavens. And I would know, if a man indeed loveth Christ, whether
the belief of this be not one of the highest arguments that can
be urged, to make such an one weary of this world, that he may be
with him. To such an one, "to live is Christ, and to die is gain"
(Phil 1:21-23). And to such an one, it is difficult to bring
his mind to be content to stay here a longer time; except he be
satisfied that Christ has still work for him here to do.

I will yet add, There is a love of Christ, I will not say, that
cannot be known, but I will say, that cannot be enjoyed; no, not
by them now in heaven (in soul) until the day of judgment. And the
knowledge of this, when it has possessed even men on earth, has
made them choose a day of judgment, before a day of death, that
they might know what is beyond that state and knowledge which
even the spirits of just men made perfect, now do enjoy in heaven
(2 Cor 5:4). Wherefore, as I said at first, To know the love of
Christ that passeth knowledge, is advantageous upon this account;
it begetteth in Christians a great desire to reach, and press
forward to that which is before.

One thing more, and then, as to this reason, I have done. Even that
love of Christ that is absolutely unknowable, as to the utmost
bound thereof because it is eternal, will be yet in the nature
of it sweet and desirable, because we shall enjoy or be possessed
of it so. This therefore, if there were no more, is enough, when
known, to draw away the heart from things that are below, to
itself.

(4.) The love that passeth knowledge. The knowledge of that is a
very fruitful knowledge. It cannot be, but it must be fruitful.
Some knowledge is empty, and alone, not attended with that good,
and with those blessings wherewith this knowledge is attended. Did
I say, it is fruitful? I will add, it is attended with the best
fruit; it yieldeth the best wine: It fills the soul with all the
fullness of God. "And to know the love of Christ which passeth
knowledge, that ye may be filled with all the fullness of God."
God is in Christ, and makes himself known to us by the love of
Christ. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine
of Christ, hath not God," for God is not to be found nor enjoyed,
but in him, consequently, he that hath, and abideth in the doctrine
of Christ, "hath both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9). Now,
since there are degrees of knowledge of this doctrine, and since
the highest degree of the knowledge of him, is to know that he
has a Love that passeth knowledge, it follows, that if he that
has the least saving knowledge of this doctrine, hath God; he that
hath the largest knowledge of it, has God much more, or, according
to the text, is filled with all the fullness of God. What this
fullness of God should be, is best gathered from such sayings of
the Holy Ghost, as come nearest to this, in language, filled,

Full of goodness (Rom 15:14).

Full of faith (Acts 6:5).

Full of the Holy Ghost (Acts 7:55).

Full of assurance of faith (Heb 10:22).

Full of assurance of hope (Heb 6:11).

Full of joy unspeakable, and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).

Full of joy (1 John 1:4).

Full of good works (Acts 11:36).

Being filled with the knowledge of his will (Col 1:9).

Being filled with the spirit (Eph 5:18).

Filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ
unto the glory and praise of God (Phil 4:11). These things to be
sure are included either for the cause or effect of this fullness.
The cause they cannot be, for that is God's, by his Holy Spirit.
The effects therefore they are, for wherever God dwells in the
degree intended in the text, there is shewn in an eminent manner,
by these things, "what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance
in the saints" (Eph 1:18). But these things dwell not in that
measure specified by the text, in any, but those who know the love
of Christ which passeth knowledge.

But what a man is he that is filled with all these things! or that
is, as we have it in the text, "filled with all the fullness of
God!" Such men are, at this day, wanting in the churches. These
are the men that sweeten churches, and that bring glory to God
and to religion. And knowledge will make us such, such knowledge
as the Apostle here speaketh of.14 I have now done, when I have
spoken something by way of USE unto you, from what hath been said.
And,

Use First, Is there such breadth, and length, and depth, and
height in God, for us? And is there toward us love in Christ that
passeth knowledge? Then this shews us, not only the greatness of
the majesty of the Father and the Son, but the great good will
that is in their heart to them that receive their word.

God has engaged the breadth, and length and depth, and height of
the love, the wisdom, the power, and truth that is in himself, for
us; and Christ has loved us with a love that passeth knowledge.
We may well say, "Who is like thee, O Lord, among the gods?" (Exo
15:11). Or, as another prophet has it, "Who is a God like unto
thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression
of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for
ever: because he delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18). Yea, no words
can sufficiently set forth the greatness of this love of God and
his Son to us poor miserable sinners.

Use Second, Is there so great a heart for love, towards us, both
in the Father and in the Son? Then let us be much in the study
and search after the greatness of this love. This is the sweetest
study that a man can devote himself unto; because it is the study
of the love of God and of Christ to man. Studies that yield far
less profit than this, how close are they pursued, by some who
have adapted themselves thereunto? Men do not use to count telling
over of their money burdensome to them, nor yet the recounting of
their grounds, their herds, and their flocks, when they increase.
Why? the study of the unsearchable love of God in Christ to man,
is better in itself, and yields more sweetness to the soul of
man, than can ten thousand such things as but now are mentioned.
I know the wise men of this world, of whom there are many, will
say as to what I now press you unto; Who can shew us any good in
it? But Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that
their corn and their wine increaseth (Psa 4:6,7). David also said
that his meditation on the Lord should be sweet. Oh, there is in
God and in his Son, that kindness for the sons of men, that, did
they know it, they would like to retain the knowledge of it in
their hearts. They would cry out as she did of old; "Set me as a
seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thine arm: For love is strong
as death" (Song 8:6,7). Every part, crumb, grain, or scrap of this
knowledge, is to a Christian, as drops of honey are to sweet-palated
children, worth the gathering up, worth the putting to the taste
to be relished. Yea, David says of the word which is the ground
of knowledge: "It is sweeter than honey or the honey-comb. More,"
saith he, "to be desired are they than gold; yea, than much fine
gold; sweeter also than honey or the honey-comb" (Psa 19:10). Why
then do not Christians devote themselves to the meditation of this
so heavenly, so goodly, so sweet, and so comfortable a thing, that
yieldeth such advantage to the soul? The reason is, these things
are talked of, but not believed: did men believe what they say,
when they speak so largely of the love of God, and the love of
Jesus Christ, they would, they could not but meditate upon it.
There are so many wonders in it, and men love to think of wonders.
There is so much profit in it, and men love to think of that
which yields them profit. But, as I said, the belief of things is
wanting. Belief of a thing will have strong effects, whether the
ground for it be true, or false. As suppose one of you should,
when you are at a neighbour's house, believe that your own house
is on fire, whilst your children are fast asleep in bed, though
indeed there were no such thing; I will appeal to any of you if
this belief would not make notable work with and upon your hearts.
Let a man believe he shall be damned, though afterwards it is
evident he believed a lie, yet what work did that belief make in
that man's heart; even so, and much more, the belief of heavenly
things will work, because true and great, and most good; also,
where they are indeed believed, their evidence is managed upon
their spirit, by the power and glory of the Holy Ghost itself:
Wherefore let us study these things.

Use Third, Let us cast ourselves upon this love. No greater
encouragement can be given us, than what is in the text and about
it. It is great, it is love that passeth knowledge. Men that are
sensible of danger, are glad when they hear of such helps upon
which they may boldly venture for escape. Why such an help and
relief, the text helpeth trembling and fearful consciences to.
Fear and trembling as to misery hereafter, can flow but from what
we know, feel, or imagine: but the text speaks of a love that
is beyond that we can know, feel, or imagine, even of a love
that passeth knowledge; consequently of a love that goes beyond
all these. Besides, the Apostle's conclusion upon this subject,
plainly makes it manifest that this meaning which I have put upon
the text, is the mind of the Holy Ghost. "Now unto him," saith
he, "that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask
or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be
glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world
without end. Amen" (Eph 3:20,21). What can be more plain? what
can be more full? What can be more suitable to the most desponding
spirit in any man? He can do more than thou knowest he will. He
can do more than thou thinkest he can. What dost thou think? why,
I think, saith the sinner, that I am cast away. Well, but there
are worse thoughts than these, therefore think again. Why, saith
the sinner, I think that my sins are as many as the sins of all
the world. Indeed this is a very black thought, but there are worse
thoughts than this, therefore prithee think again. Why, I think,
saith the sinner, that God is not able to pardon all my sins. Ay,
now thou hast thought indeed. For this thought makes thee look
more like a devil than a man, and yet because thou art a man and
not a devil, see the condescension and the boundlessness of the
love of thy God. He is able to do above all that we think! Couldest
thou (sinner) if thou hadst been allowed, thyself express what thou
wouldest have expressed, the greatness of the love thou wantest,
with words that could have suited thee better? for 'tis not said
he can do above what we think, meaning our thinking at present,
but above all we can think, meaning above the worst and most
soul-dejecting thoughts that we have at any time. Sometimes the
dejected have worse thoughts than at other times they have. Well,
take them at their worst times, at times when they think, and
think, till they think themselves down into the very pangs of hell;
yet this word of the grace of God, is above them, and shews that
he can yet recover and save these miserable people. And now I am
upon this subject, I will a little further walk and travel with
the desponding ones, and will put a few words in their mouths for
their help against temptations that may come upon them hereafter.
For as Satan follows such now, with charges and applications of
guilt, so he may follow them with interrogatories and appeals:
for he can tell how by appeals, as well as by charging of sin,
to sink and drown the sinner whose soul he has leave to engage.
Suppose therefore that some distressed man or woman, should after
this way be engaged, and Satan should with his interrogatories,
and appeals be busy with them to drive them to desperation; the
text last mentioned, to say nothing of the subject of our discourse,
yields plenty of help for the relief of such an one. Says Satan,
dost thou not know that thou hast horribly sinned? yes, says the
soul, I do. Says Satan, dost thou not know, that thou art one of
the vilest in all the pack of professors? yes, says the soul, I
do. Says Satan, doth not thy conscience tell thee that thou art
and hast been more base than any of thy fellows can imagine thee
to be? Yes, says the soul; my conscience tells me so. Well, saith
Satan, now will I come upon thee with my appeals. Art thou not a
graceless wretch? Yes. Hast thou an heart to be sorry for this
wickedness? No, not as I should. And albeit, saith Satan, thou prayest
sometimes, yet is not thy heart possessed with a belief that God
will not regard thee? yes, says the sinner. Why then despair, and
go hang thyself, saith the devil. And now we are at the end of
the thing designed and driven at by Satan. But what shall I now
do, saith the sinner; I answer, take up the words of the text
against him, Christ loves with a love that passeth knowledge, and
answereth him farther, saying Satan, though I cannot think that
God loves me; though I cannot think that God will save me; yet I
will not yield to thee: for God can do more than I think he can.
And whereas thou appealest unto me, if whether when I pray, my
heart is not possessed with unbelief that God will not regard me;
that shall not sink me neither: for God can do abundantly above
what I ask or think. Thus this text helpeth, where obstructions
are put in against our believing, and thereby casting ourselves
upon the love of God in Christ for salvation.

And yet this is not all, for the text is yet more full: "He is
able to do abundantly more," yea, "exceeding abundantly more," or
"above all that we ask or think." It is a text made up of words
picked and packed together by the wisdom of God, picked and packed
together on purpose for the succour and relief of the tempted, that
they may when in the midst of their distresses, cast themselves
upon the Lord their God. He can do abundantly more than we ask.
Oh! says the soul, that he would but do so much for me as I could
ask him to do! How happy a man should I then be. Why, what wouldest
thou ask for, sinner? you may be sure, says the soul, I would ask
to be saved from my sins; I would ask for faith in, and love to,
Christ; I would ask to be preserved in this evil world, and ask
to be glorified with Christ in heaven. He that asketh of all this,
doth indeed ask for much, and for more than Satan would have him
believe that God is able or willing to bestow upon him; but mark,
the text doth not say, that God is able to do all that we can ask
or think, but that he is able to do above all, yea, abundantly
above all, yea, exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
think. What a text is this! What a God have we! God foresaw the
sins of his people, and what work the devil would make with their
hearts about them, and therefore to prevent their ruin by his
temptation, he has thus largely, as you see, expressed his love by
his word. Let us therefore, as has been bidden us, make this good
use of this doctrine of grace, as to cast ourselves upon this love
of God in the times of distress and temptation.

Use Fourth, Take heed of abusing this love. This exhortation seems
needless; for love is such a thing, that one would think none could
find in their heart to abuse. But for all that, I am of opinion,
that there is nothing that is more abused among professors this
day, than is this love of God. There has of late more light about
the love of Christ broke out, than formerly: every boy now can talk
of the love of Christ; but this love of Christ has not been rightly
applied by preachers, or else not rightly received by professors.
For never was this grace of Christ so turned into lasciviousness,
as now. Now it is a practice among professors to learn to be vile,
of the profane. Yea, and to plead for that vileness: Nay, we will
turn it the other way, now it is so that the profane do learn to
be vile of those that profess (They teach the wicked ones their
ways): a thing that no good man should think on but with blushing
cheeks (Jer 2:33).15 Jude speaketh of these people, and tells us
that they, notwithstanding their profession, deny the only Lord
God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ (verse 4). "They profess," saith
Paul, "that they know God; but in works they deny him, being
abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate"
(Titus 1:16).

But I say, let not this love of God and of Christ, be abused. 'Tis
unnatural to abuse love, to abuse love is a villany condemned of
all, yea, to abuse love, is the most inexcusable sin of all. It is
next the sin of devils to abuse love, the love of God and of Christ.

And what says the Apostle? "Because they received not the love
of the truth, that they might be saved, therefore God shall send
them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they all
might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness" (2 Thess 2:10-12). And what can such an one say
for himself in the judgment, that shall be charged with the abuse
of love? Christians, deny yourselves, deny your lusts, deny the
vanities of this present life, devote yourselves to God; become
lovers of God, lovers of his ways, and "a people zealous of good
works"; then shall you show one to another, and to all men, that you
have not received the grace of God in vain (2 Cor 6:1). Renounce
therefore the hidden things of dishonesty, walk not in craftiness,
nor handle God's word deceitfully, but by manifestation of the
truth, commend yourselves to every man's conscience in the sight
of God. Do this, I say, yea, and so endeavour such a closure with
this love of God in Christ, as may graciously constrain you to do
it, because, when all proofs of the right receiving of this love
of Christ shall be produced, none will be found of worth enough
to justify the simplicity of our profession, but that which makes
us "zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14). And what a thing will it
be to be turned off at last, as one that abused the love of Christ!
as one that presumed upon his lusts, this world, and all manner
of naughtiness, because the love of Christ to pardon sins was so
great! What an unthinking, what a disingenuous one wilt thou be
counted at that day! yea, thou wilt be found to be the man that
made a prey of love, that made a stalking-horse of love, that made
of love a slave to sin, the devil and the world, and will not that
be bad? (Read Eze 16)

Use Fifth, Is the love of God and of Christ so great? let us then
labour to improve it to the utmost for our advantage, against all
the hindrances of faith.

To what purpose else is it revealed, made mention of, and commended
to us? We are environed with many enemies, and faith in the love
of God and of Christ, is our only succour and shelter. Wherefore
our duty and wisdom and privilege is, to improve this love for
our own advantage. Improve it against daily infirmities, improve
it against the wiles of the devil; improve it against the threats,
rage, death, and destruction, that the men of this world continually
with their terror set before you. But how must that be done? why,
set this love and the safety that is in it, before thine eyes;
and behold it while these things make their assaults upon thee.
These words, the faith of this, God loves me, will support thee
in the midst of what dangers may assault thee. And this is that
which is meant, when we are exhorted to rejoice in the Lord (Phil
3:1), to make our boast in the Lord (Psa 44:8); to triumph in
Christ (2 Cor 2:14); and to set the Lord always before our face
(Psa 16:8). For he that can do this thing stedfastly, cannot
be overcome. For in God there is more than can be in the world,
either to help or hinder; wherefore if God be my helper, if God
loves me, if Christ be my redeemer, and has bestowed his love that
passeth knowledge upon me, who can be against me? (Heb 13:6, Rom
8:31) and if they be against me, what disadvantage reap I thereby;
since even all this also, worketh for my good? This is improving
the love of God and of Christ for my advantage. The same course
should Christians also take with the degrees of this love, even
set it against all the degrees of danger; for here deep calleth
unto deep. There cannot be wickedness and rage wrought up to
such or such a degree, as of which it may be said, there are not
degrees in the love of God and of Christ to match it. Wherein
Pharaoh dealt proudly against God's people, the Lord was above
him (Exo 18:11), did match and overmatch him; he came up to him,
and went beyond him; he collared with him, overcame him, and
cast him down. "The Lord is a man of war, the Lord is his name.
Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea--they
sank into the bottom as a stone" (Exo 15:5). There is no striving
against the Lord that hath loved us; there is none that strive
against him can prosper. If the shields of the earth be the Lord's
(Psa 47:9), then he can wield them for the safeguard of his body
the church; or if they are become incapable of being made use of
any longer in that way, and for such a thing, can he not lay them
aside, and make himself new ones? Men can do after this manner,
much more God. But again, if the miseries, or afflictions which
thou meetest with, seem to thee to overflow, and to go beyond
measure, above measure, and so to be above strength, and begin to
drive thee to despair of life (2 Cor 1:8); then thou hast also,
in the love of God, and of Christ, that which is above, and that
goes beyond all measure also, to wit, love unsearchable, unknown,
and "that can do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or
think." Now God hath set them one against the other, and 'twill
be thy wisdom to do so too, for this is the way to improve this
love. But, though it be easy, thus to admonish you to do, yet you
shall find the practical part more difficult; wherefore, here it
may not be amiss, if I add to these, another head of COUNSEL.

Counsel First, Then, Wouldest thou improve this love of God and
of Christ to thy advantage, Why then thou must labour after the
knowledge of it. This was it that the Apostle prayed for, for
these Ephesians, as was said before, and this is that that thou
must labour after, or else thy reading and my writing, will, as to
thee, be fruitless. Let me then say to thee, as David to his son
Solomon, "And thou Solomon, my son, know thou the God of thy
father" (1 Chron 28:9). Empty notions of this love will do nothing
but harm, wherefore, they are not empty notions that I press thee
to rest in, but that thou labour after the knowledge of the favour
of this good ointment (Song 1:3), which the Apostle calleth the
favour of the knowledge of this Lord Jesus (2 Cor 2:14). Know it,
until it becometh sweet or pleasant to thy soul, and then it will
preserve and keep thee (Prov 2:10,11). Make this love of God and
of Christ thine own, and not another's. Many there are that can
talk largely of the love of God to Abraham, to David, to Peter and
Paul. But that is not the thing, give not over until this love
be made thine own; until thou find and feel it to run warm in
thy heart by the shedding of it abroad there, by the spirit that
God hath given thee (Rom 5:5). Then thou wilt know it with an
obliging and engaging knowledge; yea, then thou wilt know it with
a soul-strengthening, and soul-encouraging knowledge.

Counsel Second, Wouldest thou improve this love? then set it
against the love of all other things whatsoever, even until this
love shall conquer thy soul from the love of them to itself.

This is Christian. Do it therefore, and say, why should any thing
have my heart but God, but Christ? He loves me, he loves me with
love that passeth knowledge. He loves me, and he shall have me:
he loves me, and I will love him: his love stripped him of all for
my sake; Lord let my love strip me of all for thy sake. I am a son
of love, an object of love, a monument of love, of free love, of
distinguishing love, of peculiar love, and of love that passeth
knowledge: and why should not I walk in love? In love to God, in
love to men, in holy love, in love unfeigned? This is the way to
improve the love of God for thy advantage, for the subduing of
thy passions, and for sanctifying of thy nature. 'Tis an odious
thing to hear men of base lives talking of the love of God, of
the death of Christ, and of the glorious grace that is presented
unto sinners by the word of the truth of the gospel. Praise is
comely for the upright, not for the profane. Therefore let him
speak of love that is taken with love, that is captivated with
love, that is carried away with love. If this man speaks of it,
his speaking signifies something; the powers, and bands of love are
upon him, and he shews to all that he knows what he is speaking of.
But the very mentioning of love, is in the mouth of the profane,
like a parable in the mouth of fools, or as salt unsavory. Wherefore,
Christian, improve this love of God as thou shouldest, and that
will improve thee as thou wouldest. Wherefore,

Counsel Third, If thou wouldest improve this love, keep thyself
in it. "Keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21). This text
looks as if it favoured the Socinians, but there is nothing of that
in it. And so doth that, "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall
abide in my love: even as I have kept my Father's commandments and
abide in his love" (John 15:10). The meaning then is this, that
living a holy life is the way, after a man has believed unto
justification, to keep himself in the savour and comfort of the
love of God. And Oh, that thou wouldest indeed so do. And that
because, if thou shall want the savour of it, thou will soon want
tenderness to the commandment, which is the rule by which thou
must walk, if thou wilt do good to thyself, or honour God in the
world. "To him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew
the salvation of God" (Psa 50:23). He that would live a sweet,
comfortable, joyful life, must live a very holy life. This is the
way to improve this love to thyself indeed.

Counsel Fourth, To this end, you must take root and be grounded
in love; that is, you must be well settled, and stablished in this
love, if indeed you would improve it. You must not be shaken as
to the doctrine and grounds of it (Eph 3:17). These you must be
well acquainted with: for he that is but a child in this doctrine,
is not capable as yet, of falling in with these exhortations: For
such waver, and fear when tempted; and "he that feareth is not
made perfect in love" (1 John 4:18), nor can he so improve it for
himself and soul's good as he should.

Counsel Fifth, and lastly, Keep, to this end, those grounds, and
evidences that God hath given you of your call to be partakers of
this love, with all clearness upon your hearts, and in your minds.
For he that wants a sight of them, or a proof that they are true
and good, can take but little comfort in this love. There is a
great mystery in the way of God with his people. He will justify
them without their works, he will pardon them for his Son's sake:
but they shall have but little comfort of what he hath done, doth,
and will do for them that are careless, carnal, and not holy in
their lives. Nor shall they have their evidences for heaven at
hand, nor out of doubt with them, yea, they shall walk without
the sun, and have their comforts by bits and knocks;16 while others
sit at their father's table, have liberty to go into the wine-cellar,
rejoice at the sweet and pleasant face of their heavenly Father
towards them; and know it shall go well with them at the end.

Something now for a conclusion should be spoken to the carnal
world, who have heard me tell of all this love. But what shall
I say unto them? If I should speak to them, and they should not
hear; or if I should testify unto them, and they should not believe;
or intreat them, and they should scorn me; all will but aggravate,
and greaten their sin, and tend to their further condemnation.
And therefore I shall leave the obstinate where I found him, and
shall say to him that is willing to be saved, Sinner, thou hast
the advantage of thy neighbour, not only because thou art willing
to live, but because there are [those] that are willing thou
shouldest; to wit, those unto whom the issues from death do belong,
and they are the Father and the Son, to whom be glory with the
blessed Spirit of grace, world without end. Amen.

FOOTNOTES:

1 In the first edition of this treatise, which was published four
years after Bunyan's death, this is quoted "deeper than the sea,"
probably a typographical error. It is afterwards quoted correctly.--Ed.

2 How admirably does Bunyan bring home to the Christian's heart
these solemn truths. The breadth and length and depth and height
of our guilt and misery, requires a remedy beyond all human power.
This can only be found in the love of God in Christ: this extends
beyond all bounds. It is divine, unsearchable, eternal mercy,
swallowing up all our miseries.--Ed.

3 Shuck, a corruption of shrug, to express horror by motions of
the body.

4 This is a very striking application of these words of David,
which so fearfully describe the agitation of those who are exposed
to a hurricane at sea. We too generally limit this passage to
its literal sense. To Bunyan, who had passed through such a deep
experience of the "terrors of the Lord," when he came out of
tribulation and anguish, he must have richly enjoyed the solemn
imagery of these words, depicting the inmost feelings of his soul
when in the horrible deeps of doubt and despair. But young Christians
must not be distressed because they have never experienced such
tempests: thousands of vessels of mercy get to heaven, without
meeting with hurricanes in their way.--Ed.

5 How thankful should we be, for the great spread of gospel light
in this country, since Bunyan's days. He for refusing to attend,
what he considered, an unscriptural church; suffered above twelve
years incarceration in a miserable den; while all his friends were
either imprisoned or plundered. It was a dreadful attempt to root
out Christianity from this country; but was overruled to make it
take deeper root. How long will Antichrist still hold up his head
in this country? He has had some hard knocks of late.--Ed.

6 The descent of Christ into hell has been the subject of much
controversy, and the question is as far from solution now as
it was in the dark ages, when it was first propounded, and then
arbitrarily decreed to be an article of faith. Those who explain hell
as hades, the place of departed souls, or of the dead generally,
fortify themselves with Psalm 139:8, and also Psalm 16:10; and
yet the first passage may only imply the omnipresence of God, and
the second, the resurrection of the incorruptible body of Christ
from the grave. The descent of Christ into the place of torment is
a figment, a monkish fable, in which Bible incidents and heathen
myths are woven together to delude a credulous and ignorant
laity. The formulary designated the Apostles' creed, has, beyond
question, a high claim to antiquity, but none whatever to be the
work of the Apostles themselves. The "descent into hell" was an
after interpolation, and its rejection has been suggested.--Ed.

7 This is one of those strikingly solemn passages, which abound in
Bunyan's works. It almost irresistibly brings to our imagination
his expressive countenance, piercing eyes and harmonious voice;
pressed on by his rapid conceptions and overpowering natural
eloquence. How must it have riveted the attention of a great
congregation. It is a rush of words, rolling on like the waves of
the sea; increasing in grandeur and in force as they multiply in
number.--Ed.

8 The reader must not misunderstand the word common as here applied
to the Saviour. It has the same meaning that is applied to a piece
of land, to which many persons have an equal or common right;
but which none but those, who have a right or title, can use. It
strikingly illustrates the union of Christ and his church.--Ed.

9 There is no affectation of learning in Bunyan's giving the meaning
of the Hebrew word, Metheg; it is translated in the margin of our
Bibles, "the bridle" of Ammah.--Ed.

10 Bunyan seems here evidently to refer to the case of unregenerate
and worldly men entering into the ministry, and making a public
and solemn declaration that they "are inwardly moved thereto by
the Holy Ghost," and "truly called according to the will of our
Lord Jesus Christ." See form and manner of ordaining deacons and
priests in the Church of England.--Ed.

11 Bunyan quotes this passage from the puritan version; vulgarly
called "The Breeches Bible." The present authorized translation
is "might be rich."

12 "Virtue," secret agency: efficacy without visible or material
action. "Walker's Dictionary."--Ed.

13 "Improving," not in quality but by extending the benefits,
employing to good purpose; turning to profitable account.--Ed.

14 How delightfully has Bunyan brought forth the marrow of this
important text. He felt that those who were filled with all the
fullness of God, sweetened the churches in his day; they were
wanted then; are they not equally wanted now?--Ed.

15 Bunyan lived in singularly eventful times. Under the Commonwealth
the strictest outward morality was enforced. But when a licentious
monarch was placed upon the throne, a flood of the grossest
debauchery was let loose; and those hypocrites, who had put on a
cloak of religion to serve a temporary purpose, threw it off and
became ringleaders in the vilest iniquities. See Matthew 12:43-45.--Ed.

16 "Bits and knocks"; this phrase is now obsolete: it alludes to a
dog at table, who while picking up the crumbs, often gets a bite
and a buffet or knock with it, but still perseveres.--Ed.

***

OF ANTICHRIST, AND HIS RUIN: AND OF THE SLAYING THE WITNESSES.

BY JOHN BUNYAN



PREFATORY REMARKS BY THE EDITOR

This important treatise was prepared for the press, and left by
the author, at his decease, to the care of his surviving friend
for publication. It first appeared in a collection of his works
in folio, 1692; and although a subject of universal interest; most
admirably elucidated; no edition has been published in a separate
form.

Antichrist has agitated the Christian world from the earliest ages;
and his craft has been to mislead the thoughtless, by fixing upon
the humble followers of the Lamb his own opprobrious proper name.
The mass of professed Christians, whose creed and mode of worship
have been provided by human laws, has ever been opposed to the sincere
disciples of Christ. To imbibe every principle from investigation
and conviction of the holy oracles--to refuse submission to any
authority in the spiritual kingdom of God, except it is to Christ,
the supreme head and only lawgiver in his church--to refuse
obedience to human laws in the great concern of salvation and of
worship; whether those laws or decrees emanate from a Darius, a
Nebuchadnezzar, a Bourbon, a Tudor, or a Stuart--to be influenced
by the spirit which animated Daniel, the three Hebrew youths, and
the martyrs, brought down denunciations upon them, and they were
called antichristian: but alas! the sincere disciples of Jesus have
ever known and FELT who and what is Antichrist. They have been
in dungeons--racked and tormented--transported--drowned--hung or
burned. The most frightful atrocities have been committed upon
the most peaceful and valuable members of society; because they
valued their soul's peace in preference to temporal advantages.
These cruelties are THY cursed deeds, O Antichrist! The hand
writing against thee is exhibited in blood-stained and indelible
characters. The Great God has decreed thy downfall and ruin--"That
wicked--whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth,"
(2 Thess 2:8). All who are found partakers in his community, must
be consumed with an everlasting destruction. No "paper-winkers" 1
can hide this truth from the enlightened regenerated mind. "O my
soul, come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly, mine
honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man.
Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it
was cruel!"

In Bunyan's time great cruelties were practised to compel
uniformity. To that absurd shrine many thousand invaluable lives
were sacrificed. Blessed be God, that happier days have dawned upon
us. Antichrist can no longer put the Christian to a cruel death.
It very rarely sends one to prison for refusing obedience to human
laws that interfere with religious worship. "My kingdom is not of
this world," said the Redeemer: and his followers dare not render
unto Caesar, or temporal governments, that which belongs exclusively
to God. Human coercion, in anything connected with religion, whether
it imposes creeds, liturgies, or modes of worship, is Antichrist:
whom to obey, is spiritual desolation, and if knowingly persevered
in, leads to death.

On the contrary, the kingdom of Christ is love, meekness, forbearance,
persuasion, conviction, and holy faith. The Christian who dares
not obey Antichrist may still, in some countries, suffer personal
violence; but the olden cruelties have given way to the spread of
the gospel. Should the wicked spirit of persecution still light
its unhallowed fire in any sect; may heaven forgive and convert
such misguided men, before the divine wrath shall consume all
that pertains to Antichrist. "Come out from among them and be ye
separate, saith the Lord."

Bunyan conceives that previous to the universal triumphs of the
Saviour, Antichrist will spread his influence over the whole earth;
and the church be hidden from outward observation, in the hearts
of believers. This idea, which was also cherished by Dr. Gill,
and others, deserves careful consideration; while we keep in mind,
that leaven which must spread, however invisible in its operation,
until the whole earth shall be leavened.

The dread enemy may yet appear in a different shape to any that
he has hitherto assumed. When mankind, by the spread of knowledge,
shall throw off the absurdities and disgraceful trammels of
hypocrisy, fanaticism, and tyranny, which has so long oppressed
them; there may be experienced a vast overflowing of infidelity,
and perverted reason assume the place of Antichrist. Through
this and all other opposing systems, Christianity must make its
irresistible progress: all that opposes is doomed to ruin by the
Great God. Every heart will be subdued by that blessed knowledge,
which has the promise of the life that now is as well as of that
which is to come. Bloodless victory! The ark being exhibited, every
Dagon must fall before it, then shall be realized the heavenly
anthem, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good
will towards men."

GEORGE OFFOR.

A PREMONITION TO THE READER.

After that God had delivered Babylon and her king into the hands
of the kings of the Medes and Persians, then began the liberty
of the Jews, from their long and tedious captivity: For though
Nebuchadnezzar and his sons did tyrannically enslave, and hold
them under; yet so wrought God with the hearts of those kings that
succeeded them, that they made proclamation to them to go home,
and build their city, temple, &c., and worship their own God
according to his own law (2 Chron 30:6; Ezra 1). But because I
would not be tedious in enumerating instances for the clearing of
this, therefore I will content myself with one, and with a brief
note upon it. It is that in the seventh of Ezra 26: 'And whosoever
will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let
judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be to death, or
to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.'
This is the conclusion of a letter that king Artaxerxes gave to
Ezra the priest and scribe, when he granted his petition, and gave
him leave to go to Jerusalem to build the temple, and to offer
sacrifice there to the God whose house is in Jerusalem. And
a conclusion it was, both comfortable and sharp; comfortable to
Ezra and his companions, but sharp unto his enemies. I shall here
present you with a copy of the letter at large.

'Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the
law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a time. I
make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his
priests and levites, in my realm, which are minded of their own
free-will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee. Forasmuch as thou
art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to inquire
concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God
which is in thine hand; And to carry the silver and gold, which
the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of
Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem. And all the silver and
gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with
the free-will-offering of the people, and of the priests, offering
willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem: That
thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs,
with their meat-offerings and their drink-offerings, and offer them
upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do
with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will
of your God. The vessels also that are given thee for the service
of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of
Jerusalem. And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of
thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out
of the king's treasure-house. And I, even I Artaxerxes the king,
do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river,
that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the
God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily. Unto an
hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat,
and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil,
and salt without prescribing how much. Whatsoever is commanded by
the God of heaven, let it be diligently done for the house of the
God of heaven: for why should there be wrath against the realm of
the king and his sons? Also we certify you, that touching any of
the priests and levites, singers, porters, nethinims, or ministers
of this House of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll,
tribute, or custom, upon them. And thou, Ezra, after the wisdom
of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges,
which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, all
such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them
not. And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of
the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it
be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or
to imprisonment' (Ezra 7:11-26).

This is the letter; and now for the scope thereof. First, Generally.
Secondly, Particularly.

GENERALLY. The general scope of the letter is this: A grant given
by the king to Ezra the scribe, to go to Jerusalem, and build there
the temple of God, and offer sacrifice in it according to the law:
With commissions annexed thereunto, to the king's lieutenants,
treasurers and governors on that side the river, to further the
work with such things as by the king was commanded they should.

PARTICULARLY. But we will consider the matter particularly. 1.
As to the manner of the grant which the king gave to Ezra and his
brethren to go thither. 2. As to the king's grant, with reference
to their building, and way of worship. 3. With reference to the
king's liberality and gifts towards the building of the temple,
and by what rules it was to be bestowed. 4. As to the way that the
king concluded they should be governed in their own land. 5. With
reference to the king's charge to his officers that were thereabout,
not to hinder Ezra in his work. 6. And lastly, with reference to
the king's threat and commandment to do judgment if they should
hinder it.

First, As to the manner of the grant that the king gave to Ezra and
his brethren to go to build, it was such an one as forced none,
but left every Jew to his own choice, whether he would go, or
forbear. The words are these: 'Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto
Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect
peace, and at such a time. I make a decree, that all they of the
people of Israel, and of his priests and levites, in my realm,
which are minded of their own free-will to go up to Jerusalem, go
with thee' (verse 12,13).

Thus gracious then was the king: He made a decree, That all they
of the captive Jews, their priests and levites, that would return
to their own land, to build their temple, and to sacrifice there,
might: He would hinder none, force none, but left them free, to
do as they would.

Secondly, As to the king's grant, with reference to their building,
and way of worship there, nothing was to be done therein, but
according to the law of the God of Ezra, which was in his hands
(verse 14). Hence, when he was come to Jerusalem, he was to inquire
concerning Judah and Jerusalem; to wit, what was wanting in order
to the temple and worship of God there, according to the law of
his God, which was in his hand. Also when they went about to build,
and to sacrifice, all was to be done according as was commanded by
the God of heaven (verse 23): Yea, this was granted by the king,
and his seven counsellors.

Thirdly, As to the king's liberality towards the building of this
house, &c. it was large: He gave silver, gold, bullocks, rams,
lambs; with wheat, wine, oil, and salt (verse 17,22); but would by
his royal power, give no orders how in particular things should
be bestowed, but left all that to Ezra the priest, to do with it
according to the will, word, or law of his God (verse 18).

Fourthly, As to the way that the king concluded they should be
governed in their own land, it was by their own laws; yea, he did
bid Ezra the priest, after the wisdom of his God that was in his
hand, set magistrates and judges, which might judge all the people,
&c. only he bid him make them such, which did know the law of his
God: Also the king added, That they should teach it to them that
knew it not.

Fifthly, As to the king's officers, he gave them a charge not to
hinder, but further this work. To further this work, not by putting
their hand thereto, (that was to be left to the Jews alone, especially
to Ezra, according to the law of his God,) but that they should
speedily give him such things which the king had commanded, to
wit, silver, and wheat, and wine, and oil, and salt, for their
encouragement; and to do therewith, as by the law of their God
they should. Further, That they should not impose toll, tribute,
or custom, upon the priests, levites, singers, porters, nethinims,
or ministers (verse 20-22).

Sixthly, And now we come to the conclusion, to wit, the king's
threat and command to do judgment on them that obeyed not the law
of Ezra's God, and the king.

Considering what hath been said before, I conclude,

1. That this king imposed no law, no priest, no people upon these
Jews; but left them wholly to their own law, their own ministers,
and their own people: All which were the laws of God, the priests
of God, the people of God, as to their building of their temple,
and the worship of their God.

2. He forced not THIS people, no, not to their land, their temple,
nor their worship, by his or their law; but left them free to
their own mind, to do thereabout as they would.

3. He added not any law therefore of his own, either to prescribe
worship, or to enforce it upon the Jews.

But you will say, upon what then was the threatening and the command
to punish grounded? I answer, upon a supposed breach of two laws.
He of the Jews, that in Jerusalem, rebelled against the law of
the Lord, was in his own land left by the king to be punished by
the same law, according to the penalties thereof: And he of the
king's officers, that refused to do the king's laws, that refused
to give the Jews such things as the king commanded, and that would
yet exact such customs and tributes as the king forbade, should be
punished by the king's laws, whether unto death or unto banishment,
or unto confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

And if all kings would but give such liberty, to wit, that God's
people should be directed in their temple-building, and temple
worship, as they find it in the law of their God, without the
additions of man's inventions: and if all kings did but lay the
same penalty upon them of their pretended servants, that should
hinder this work, which this brave king Artaxerxes laid upon his;
how many of the enemies of the Jews, before this time, would have
been hanged, banished, had their goods confiscated to the king,
or their bodies shut up in prison! The which we desire not; we
desire only that this letter of the king might be considered of,
and we left to do as is there licensed and directed: And when we
do the contrary, let us be punished by the law of God, as we are
his servants, and by the law of the king, as we are his subjects;
and we shall never complain.

Only I cannot but observe how prettily it is done of some, who urge
this text to colour their malice, ignorance and revenge withal,
while they cry, The law of God, and The law of the king, when they
will neither let, according to this scripture, the law of God,
nor the law of the king take place: Not the law of God; for that
they will not leave us to that, to square and govern ourselves in
temple-work, and sacrificing by. Nor will they do the law of the
king, which has made void, ipso facto, whatever law is against
the word of God; but because themselves can do, they will
force us to do so too. 2

Before I leave this, I would touch once again upon the candour
of this king Artaxerxes, who thus did: Because he gave this leave
and license to the Jews, contrary (if he had any) to his own
national worship; yea, and also to the impairing of his own incomes.
Methinks he should have a religion of his own; and that, not that
of the Jews, because he was a Gentile; and not, as we read of,
proselyted to the Jews religion. Indeed, he spake reverently of
the God of Israel, and of his temple-worship, and sacrifices, as
did also several other kings; but that will not prove that he was
adapted to that religion.

That his incomes were impaired, 'tis evident; because he took
off toll, tribute, and custom from them, of whom mention is made
before; nor is it, I think, to be believed, that he did exact it
of their brethren. But we may see what the Lord can do; for thus
to do, was put into the heart of the king by the God of heaven
(verse 27). This therefore ariseth not of nature: no more did the
kindness of Cyrus or Darius, of whom we read in the beginning of
this history. As God therefore did put it into the hearts of the
wicked kings of Babylon, to distress his church and people for
their sins; so he put it into the hearts of the kings of the Medes
and Persians, who were to be, in a sense, their saviours; to ease
them of those distresses, to take off the yoke, and let them go
free. Indeed, there was an Artaxerxes that put a stop to this work
of God (chap 4), and he also was of the kings that had destroyed
the Babylonians; for it doth not follow, because God hath begun
to deliver his people, that therefore their deliverance must be
completed without stop or let. The protestants in France had more
favour formerly, than from their prince they at this time have;
yet I doubt not but that God will make that horn also one of them
(in his time) that (indeed) shall hate the whore. As the sins of
God's people brought them into captivity; so their sins can hold
them there; yea, and when the time comes that grace must fetch
them out, yet the oxen that draw this cart may stumble; and the
way through roughness, may shake it sorely. However, heaven rules
and over-rules; and by one means and another, as the captivity of
Israel did seem to linger, so it came out at the time appointed;
in the way that best pleased God, most profited them, and that
most confounded those that were their implacable enemies. This
therefore should instruct those that yet dwell where the woman
sitteth, to quietness and patience.

To quietness: For God rules, and has the dispose of things. Besides,
it is a kind of arraigning of his wisdom, to be discontent at that
which at present is upon the wheel. Above all, it displeases him
that any should seek, or go about to revenge their own injuries,
or to work their own deliverances; for that is the work of God,
and he will do it by the kings: Nor is he weak, nor has he missed
the opportunity; nor doth he sleep but waketh, and waiteth to be
gracious.

This also should teach them to be patient, and put them upon bearing
what at present they may undergo, patiently. Let them wait upon
God; patiently let them wait upon men, and patiently let them bear
the fruits of their own transgressions; which though they should
be none other but a deferring of the mercy wished for, is enough
to try, and crack, and break their patience, if a continual supply,
and a daily increase thereof be not given by the God of heaven.

And before I do conclude this, let me also add one word more; to
wit, to exhort them to look that they may see that which God at
present may be doing among the Babylonians.

When God had his people into Babylon of old, he presented them
with such rarities there, as he never shewed them in their own
country. And is there nothing now to be seen by them that are not
yet delivered from that oppression, that may give them occasion to
stay themselves and wonder! What, is preservation nothing? What,
is baffling and befooling the enemies of God's church nothing? In
the Maryan days here at home, there was such sweet songs sung in
the fire, such sweet notes answering them from prison, and such
providences, that coals of burning fire still dropped here and
there upon the heads of those that hated God; that it might, and
doubtless did make those that did wisely consider of God's doings,
to think God was yet near, with, and for, a despised and afflicted
people.3

I conclude then, first with a word of counsel, and then with a
word of caution.

First, Let us mend our pace in the way of reformation, that
is the way to hasten the downfall of Antichrist, ministers need
reforming, particular congregations need reforming, there are but
few church-members but need reforming. This twenty years we have
been degenerating, both as to principles, and as to practice; and
have grown at last into an amazing likeness to the world, both as
to religion and civil demeanour: Yea, I may say, so remiss have
churches been in instructing those that they have received into
fellowship with them; and so careless have the received been, of
considering the grounds of their coming into churches, that most
members, in some places, seem now to be at a loss; yea, and those
churches stand with their fingers in their mouths, and are as if
they would not, durst not, or could not help it.

My Second is, A word of caution.

1. Take heed of over-looking, or of shutting your eyes upon your
own guilt: 'He that covereth his sins, shall not prosper.' It is
incident to some men, when they find repentance is far from them,
to shut their eyes upon their own guilt, and to please themselves
with such notions of deliverance from present troubles, as will
stand with that course of sin which is got into their families,
persons, and professions, and with a state of impenitence: But I
advise you to take heed of this.

2. Take heed in laying the cause of your troubles in the badness
of the temper of governors. I speak not now with reflection upon
any, excepting those concerned in this caution: God is the chief,
and has the hearts of all, even of the worst of men, in his hand.
Good tempered men have sometimes brought trouble; and bad tempered
men have sometimes brought enlargement to the churches of God:
Saul brought enlargement (1 Sam 14:28). David brought trouble (2
Sam 12:10). Ahab brought enlargement (1 Kings 21:29). Jehoshaphat
and Hezekiah did both sometimes bring trouble (2 Chron 19:2; 20:35;
32:25). Therefore, the good or bad tempers of men sway nothing
with God in this matter; they are the sins or repentances of his
people, that make the church either happy or miserable upon earth.

Take heed, I say therefore, of laying of the trouble of the church
of God at the doors of governors; especially at the doors of kings,
who seldom trouble churches of their own inclinations: (I say,
seldom; for some have done so, as Pharaoh:) But I say, lay not the
cause of your trouble there; for oftentimes they see with other
men's eyes, hear with other men's ears, and act and do by the
judgments of others: Thus did Saul, when he killed the priests of
the Lord (1 Sam 22:18); and thus did Darius, when he cast Daniel
into the lions' den (Dan 6:7). But rather labour to see the true
cause of trouble, which is sin; and to attain to a fitness to be
delivered out thence, and that is by repentance, and amendment
of life. If any object, That God oft-times delivers his of mere
grace: I answer, That's no thanks to them; besides, we must mind
our duty. Further, When God comes to save his people, he can cut
off such objectors, if they be impenitent, as the sinners of his
people; and can save his church, without letting of them be sharers
in that salvation: So he served many in the wilderness; and 'tis
to be feared, so he will serve many at the downfall of Antichrist.

I shall say no more, but to testify my loyalty to my king, my love
to my brethren, and service for my country, has been the cause of
this my present scribble. Farewell.

Thine in the Lord,

J. BUNYAN.



OF ANTICHRIST.

Antichrist is the adversary of Christ; an adversary really, a friend
pretendedly: So then, Antichrist is one that is against Christ;
one that is for Christ, and one that is contrary to him: And this
is that mystery of iniquity (2 Thess 2:7). Against him in deed;
for him in word, and contrary to him in practice. Antichrist is
so proud as to go before Christ; so humble as to pretend to come
after him, and so audacious as to say that himself is he. Antichrist
will cry up Christ; Antichrist will cry down Christ: Antichrist
will proclaim that himself is one above Christ. Antichrist is the
man of sin, the son of perdition; a beast, [that] hath two horns
like a lamb, but speaks as a dragon (Rev 13:11).

Christ is the Son of God; Antichrist is the son of Hell.

Christ is holy, meek, and forbearing: Antichrist is wicked,
outrageous, and exacting.

Christ seeketh the good of the soul: Antichrist seeks his own
avarice and revenge.

Christ is content to rule by his word: Antichrist saith, The word
is not sufficient.

Christ preferreth his Father's will above heaven and earth: Antichrist
preferreth himself and his traditions above all that is written,
or that is called God, or worshiped.

Christ has given us such laws and rules as are helpful and healthful
to the soul: Antichrist seeketh to abuse those rules to our hurt
and destruction.

Antichrist may be considered either more particularly, or more
generally. 1. More particularly: And so there are many Antichrists
(1 John 2:18). 2. More generally: And so the many maketh but one
great Antichrist, one man of sin, one enemy, one great whore, one
son of perdition (2 Thess 2:3; Rev 19:2).

Again, Antichrist must be distinguished, with respect to his more
internal and external parts; and so there is the spirit, soul, or
life (1 John 4:3); and also the body and flesh of Antichrist (2
Thess 2:7). The spirit, or soul, or life of Antichrist, is that
spirit of error, that wicked, that mystery of iniquity, that under
colour and pretence of verity, draweth men from truth to falsehood.
The body or flesh of Antichrist, is that heap of men, that assembly
of the wicked, that synagogue of Satan that is acted and governed
by that spirit. But God will destroy both soul and body; He 'shall
consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both
soul and body: [or from the soul, even to the flesh] and they shall
be [both soul and body] as when a standard-bearer fainteth' (Isa
10:18).

A PARTICULAR DESCRIPTION OF ANTICHRIST.

Antichrist therefore is a mystical man, so made, or begotten of
the devil, and sent into the world, himself being the chief and
highest of him. Three things therefore go to the making up of
Antichrist, the head, body, and soul. The devil he is the head;
the synagogue of Satan, that is the body; that wicked spirit of
iniquity, that is the soul of Antichrist. Christ then is the head
of his church; the devil is the head of Antichrist; the elect
are the body of Christ; the reprobate professors are the body of
Antichrist; the Holy Ghost is the spirit of life that actuateth
Christ's body; that wicked spirit of iniquity, is that which
actuateth the body of Antichrist. Thus therefore are the two great
mighties set forth before us, who are the heads of those two
bodies; and thus are these two bodies set before us, who are to
be actuated by these two spirits.

The reason why Christ came into the world, was, That he might
destroy all the works of the head of Antichrist, and they which he
endeavoureth to complete by his wicked spirit working in his body
(1 John 3:8). And the reason why Antichrist came into the world,
was, That the church, which is the body of Christ, might be tried,
and made white by suffering under his tyranny, and by bearing
witness against his falsehoods. For, for the trial of the faithful,
and for the punishment of the world, Antichrist was admitted to
come: But when he came, he first appeared there where one would
have thought there had been no place nor corner for his reception.

WHERE ANTICHRIST FIRST APPEARED.

The devil then, made use of the church of God to midwife this
monster into the world, as the Apostle plainly shews, there he
first sat, shewing himself (2 Thess 2:4). Here therefore was his
first appearance, even in the church of God: Not that the church of
God did willingly admit him there to sit as such; he had covered
his cloven foot; he had plumbs in his dragon's mouth, and so came
in by flatteries; promising to do for Christ and his church, that
which he never meant to perform. For he shewed himself that he
was God, and in appearance, set his heart to do as the heart of
God (Eze 28:2-6). And who could have found in their hearts to shut
the door upon such an one? True, he came, when he came thither,
out of the bottomless-pit; but there came such a smoke out thence
with him, and that smoke so darkened the light of the sun, of the
moon, of the stars, and of the day, that had they [the church] been
upon their watch, as they were not, they could not have perceived
him from another man. Besides, there came with him so many locusts
to usher him into the house of God (Rev 9:2,3), and they so suited
the flesh and reason of the godly of that day, that with good words
and fair speeches, by their crafty and cunning sleights, whereby
they lay in wait to deceive, they quite got him in, and set him
up, and made him a great one, even the chief, before they were
aware. Further, He quickly got him a beast to ride on, far, for
sumptuous glory, beyond (though as to nature, as assish a creature
as) that on which Baalam was wont to ride: And by this exaltation
he became not only more stately, but the horns of the beast would
push for him (Rev 17:3-6).

Again, This man of sin, when he came into the world, had the art of
metamorphosing, and could change himself, both in form and shape,
into the likeness of a beast, a man, or woman; and the kings of
the earth, with the inhabitants of the world, began then to love
such women dearly; wherefore they went to her into the bed of love,
and defiled themselves with the filthiness of her fornications,
gave her their troth, and became her husbands, and beloved sons;
took up helmet and shield, and stood to defend her; yea, though
Christ himself, and some of the chief of his followers, cried out
of her shame, and of the evil of their doings; yet would she be
audacious.

Also this woman had now arrayed herself in flesh-taking ornaments,
of the colour of purple and scarlet, and was decked with gold,
and precious stones, and pearls, after the manner or attire of
harlots. Thus came she to them, and lay in their bosoms, and gave
them out of her golden cup of the wine of her fornication; of the
which they bibbed till they were drunken; and then, in requital,
they also gave her of such liquors as they could, to wit, to drink
of the blood of saints, and of martyrs of Jesus, till she, like
these beasts, was drunken also.

Now when they were drunken, they did as drunkards do, revel, roar,
and belch out their own shame, in the sight of them that were
sober: Wherefore they cried out upon such doings, and chose rather
to die, than to live with such company. And so 'tis still with
them where she yet sitteth, and so will be till she shall fall
into the hands of the strong Lord, who will judge her according
to her ways. And that she must do, as is implied by this, That
her fornications are in a cup; she has therefore but her cup to
be drank out; wherefore when it is empty, then, whether she will
or no, the Lord God will call her to such a reckoning, that all
the clothes on her back, with what pearls and jewels she has,
shall not be able to pay the shot.

OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.

Antichrist, as was said, had a time to come into the world, and so
must have a time to go out again: For although he saith that he
is a God, yet must he be subject to the will of God, and must go
as well as come according to that will. Nor can all the fallen
angels, with all the members and limbs of Antichrist, cause that
this their brat should abide so much as one day longer than our
God's prefixed time. And this the head of Antichrist understandeth
very well: Wherefore the Holy Ghost saith, 'Woe to the inhabiters
of the earth, and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you,
having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short
time' (Rev 12:12).

Besides, the text says plainly, The Lord shall destroy him (2 Thess
2:8), and that he goeth into perdition (Rev 17:11; 19:26). Also
the church of God believes it, and the limbs of Antichrist fear
it.

Now when, or as his time shall come to be destroyed, so he shall
be made a hand of; and that with such instruments and weapons of
God's indignation, as best shall be suited to his several parts.

Such weapons as are best for the destroying of his soul, shall be
used for the destroying of it; and such weapons as are best for the
destroying of his body, shall be made use of for the destroying
of it.

THE SOUL OF IT DESTROYED, AND HOW.

And therefore, as to his soul, or that spirit of error that governs
him in all his works of mischief; this must be consumed by the
spirit of Christ's mouth, and be destroyed by the brightness of
his coming.

This we have in the words of Paul: 'For [saith he] the mystery of
iniquity [the spirit of Antichrist] doth already work: only he who
now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then
shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with
the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of
his coming' (2 Thess 2:7,8). The Apostle here treateth of Antichrist,
with reference to his more subtil and spiritual part, since that
indeed is the chiefest of Antichrist: Wherefore he calls it that
wicked; not, that wicked one, as referring to the whole; but that
wicked, as referring to the mystery or spirit of iniquity, the
heart and soul of Antichrist; and tells us, that the Lord shall
'consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy him
with the brightness of his coming.'

Now, by the spirit of his mouth, I understand his holy word, which
is called 'The word and breath of his lips' (Isa 11:4). And also,
'The sword of his mouth' (Rev 2:16). By 'the brightness of his
coming,' I also understand, not only his presence, but an increase
of light by his presence; not only to help Christians to begin
to bear witness against some parts and pieces of the errors
of Antichrist, but until the whole is rooted out of the world.
By this, I say, must the soul, spirit, or life of Antichrist be
taken away. But how shall Christ by this rod, sword, or spirit of
his mouth, consume this wicked, this mystery of iniquity? Not by
himself immediately, but by his spirit and word in his church;
the which he will use, and so manage in this work, that they shall
not rest till he by them has brought this beast to his grave. This
beast is compared to the wild boar, and the beast that comes out
of the wood to devour the church of God, (as we read in the book
of Psalms: 80:13) But Christ, with the dogs that eat the crumbs
of his table, will so hunt and scour him about, that albeit he
may let out some of their bowels with the tushes of his chaps,
yet they will not let him alone till they have his life: For the
church shall single him out from all beasts, and so follow him
with cries, and pinch him with their voices, that he alone shall
perish by their means.4 Thus shall Christ consume and wear him out
by the spirit of his mouth, and destroy him with the brightness
of his coming

Hence you find again, That this wicked, is to melt and consume
away as grease: For the Lord Jesus shall consume him, and cause
him to melt away; not all at once, but now this part, and then
that; now his soul, and after that his body, even until soul and
body are both destroyed.

And that you may be convinced of the truth of this thing, do but
look back and compare Antichrist four or five hundred years ago,
with Antichrist as he is now, and you shall see what work the Lord
Jesus has begun to make with him, even with the spirit and soul,
and life of Antichrist; both in confounding and blasting of it by
this spirit of his mouth, as also by forcing of it to dishonourable
retreats, and by making of it give up to him, as the conqueror,
not only some of his superstitious and diabolical rites and
ceremonies, to be destroyed, but many a goodly truth, which this
vile one had taken from his church, to be renewed to them: Nay,
further, he hath also already began to take from him both kingdoms
and countries, though as to some not so absolutely as he shall do
by and by. And in the meantime, this is the plague wherewith the
Lord shall plague or smite the people that have fought against
Jerusalem: 'Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon
their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and
their tongue shall consume away in their mouth' (Zech 14:12). And
how has this long ago been fulfilled here in England! as also in
Scotland, Holland, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, and
other places! (Isa 17:4-6). Nor hath this spirit of Antichrist,
with all his art and artificers, been able to reduce to Antichrist
again, those people, nations, or parts of nations, that by the
spirit of Christ's mouth, and 'the brightness of his coming,'
have been made to forsake him, and to turn from him to Christ:
The reason is, for that the Lord has not retreated, but is still
going on in the spirit of his mouth, and his brightness, to
make that conquest over him that is determined, in the way that
is determined: Of which more shall be spoken afterward; for the
path-way that he goeth, is as the shining light, which shines
more and more unto noon. True, the fogs of Antichrist, and the
smoke that came with him out of the bottomless-pit, has darkened
and eclipsed the glorious light of the gospel: But you know, in
eclipses, when they are on the recovering hand, all the creatures
upon the face of the earth cannot put a stop to that course, until
the sun or the moon have recovered their glory. And thus it shall
be now, the Lord is returned to visit the earth, and his people
with his primitive lustre; he will not go back, nor slack his hand,
until he has recovered what Antichrist has darkened of his. 'The
anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and
till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days
ye shall consider it perfectly' (Jer 23:20). Therefore he saith
again, 'The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun [was
in her eclipse;] and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as
the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the
breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound,' &c.
as the verse before has it: 'In the day when the towers fall.' For
(as was said before) as to the recovery of the light of the gospel
from under antichristian mists, and fogs of darkness; Christ will
do that, not by might nor power, but by the spirit of his mouth,
and the brightness of his coming: Wherefore the soul of Antichrist,
or that spirit of wickedness by which this gospel-light hath been
diminished, must be consumed and destroyed by that spirit also. Nor
can any other way of conquest over that be thorough, and lasting;
because that spirit can by no other means be slain. The body
of Antichrist may be destroyed by other instruments, but spirits
cannot be killed but by spirits. The temporal sword then may kill
the body, but after that it hath no more that it can do, wherefore,
the other must be dealt with by another kind of weapon: And here
is one sufficient, the spirit against the spirit; the spirit and
face of Christ, against the spirit, that wicked, of Antichrist.
And by this spirit of Christ's mouth, all the spirit that is in
all the trinkets and wash of Antichrist shall also be destroyed;
so that those trinkets, those rites, ceremonies, and ordinances
of this man of sin, shall be left as carrion upon the face of the
earth, and shall stink in the noses of men, as doth the corrupted
blood of a dead man.

THE ORDINANCES OF ANTICHRIST.

Now therefore will the beauty of Antichrist fade like a flower,
and fall as doth a leaf when the sap of the tree has left it; or
as the beauty departeth from the body, when the soul, or life,
or spirit is gone forth. And as the body cannot be but unpleasant
and unsavoury when under such a state; so the body of Antichrist
will be to beholders, when the Lord has slain the spirit thereof.
It is the spirit of Antichrist that puts life into the body; and
that puts lustre into the ordinances of Antichrist, as the light
of the sun, and of the moon, and of the stars, do put lustre upon
the things of this visible world: Wherefore, when this spirit, and
soul, and life of Antichrist is slain, then it will be with him
as 'twould be with the world, had it no light of the sun, of the
moon, or of the stars.

And hence, as the loss of our natural life is compared to the loss
of these lights (Eccl 12:2); so the loss of the life, soul and
spirit of Antichrist is compared to these things also. For, the
soul of Antichrist is compared to a heaven; and her ordinances
and rites, to the ordinances of heaven: wherefore, when the Lord
comes to fight against her with the spirit of his mouth, he saith,
'The stars of heaven [shall be darkened], and the constellations
thereof shall not give their light' (Isa 13:10); because he will slay
that spirit of Antichrist that is in them (Isa 34; Rev 6:13,14).

Take things therefore more distinctly, thus: The antichristians'
spirit, is the heaven of antichristians; their sun, moon and stars,
are their superstitious ordinances; their earth is the body or
flesh of Antichrist, otherwise called the church and synagogue
of Satan. Now as the earth cannot live, and be desirable, without
the influences of the spirit of the heavens; so neither can Antichrist
live, when the Lord shall darken the light of his heaven, and shall
slay the spirit thereof. Hence you read, as I touched before, that
when his heaven shall be rolled together as a scroll, 'all the
host thereof,' unto which I compare the ordinances of Antichrist,
'shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as
a falling fig from the fig-tree' (Isa 34:4). But how, or why doth
the leaf, or the fig fall from the tree? Why, because the spirit,
or sap of the tree, is gone from them.

Therefore, the first and chief proceeding of the Lord with the man
of sin, is to slay his soul, that his body may also be consumed:
And when the spirit of Antichrist shall be made to leave both the
body and ordinances of Antichrist, 'twill be easy to deal both
with the one and the other. And first, for the ordinances of
Antichrist; because the spirit of error is in them, as well as in
the body itself. When that spirit, as I said, has left them, they
will of themselves even moulder away, and not be: As we have seen
by experience here in England, as others also have seen in other
countries. For as concerning his masses, prayers for the dead,
images, pilgrimages, monkish vows, sinful fasts, and the beastly
single life of their priests, though when the spirit of Antichrist
was in them, they did bear some sway in the world; yet now, of
what esteem are they? or who has reverence for them? They are now
blown together under hedges, as the dry leaves, for the mice and
frogs to harbour in: yea, the locusts too, camp in the hedges
among the dry leaves, in the cold day, and 'when the sun ariseth
they flee away' (Nahum 3:15-17). When 'tis a cold day for them in
a nation, then they lurk in the hedges, though their ordinances
lie there, as leaves that are dry, and fallen down from the tree;
but when the sun ariseth, and waxeth warm, they abide not, but
betake them to their wings, and fly away. But one would think that
fallen leaves should have no great nourishment in them: True, if
you have respect to men, but with vermin any thing will do: We
speak then of them with reference to men, not with respect to the
very members of Antichrist: And I say, as to them, when the spirit
of Antichrist is gone out of these ordinances, they will be with
them as dry leaves that no body seeketh after. The ordinances
therefore of Antichrist are not able to bear up themselves in
the world, as the ordinances of the Lord Jesus are, for even the
ordinances of Christ, where the spirit of Christ is not, are yet
in some esteem with men: But THESE, when the spirit of delusion
has left them, are abhorred, both skin and bones: For in themselves
they are without any sense, or rationality (Eze 20:25,26); yea,
they look as parts of things which are used to conjure up devils
with: These were prefigured by the ordinances that were NOT
good, and by the judgments whereby one should not live. For what
is there, or can there be of the least dram of truth or profit in
the things that are without the word, that being the only stamp
by which one is distinguished from the other? I say, What is there
in any of them, to the man whose eyes are open, but delusion and
deceit! Wherefore, as has been expressed already, when the Lord
Christ, by the spirit of his mouth, &c. shall drive this mystery
of iniquity from them, and strip them of that spirit of delusion
that now by its craft puts bewitching excellency upon them, they
will of themselves become such stinking rivers, ponds and pools,
that flesh and blood will loathe to drink of them; yea, as it was
with the ponds and pools of Egypt, they will be fit for nought
but to breed and hatch up frogs in.

Wherefore these ordinances shall be rejected, not one of them shall
find favour with men on earth; when the Lord, 'by the spirit of
his mouth, and the brightness of his coming,' shall have separated
their spirit from them.

Now, by ordinances of Antichrist, I do not intend things that only
respect matters of worship in Antichrist's kingdom, but those civil
laws that impose and enforce them also; yea, that enforce THAT
worship with pains and penalties, as in the Spanish inquisition:
For these must, as the other, be overthrown by Christ, by the
spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: For these
laws, as the other, took their being, and have their soul and
life by the spirit of Antichrist; yea, as long as there is life
in them, 'tis because the spirit of that man of sin yet remaineth
in them. Wherefore, these are also great ordinances, though of
another nature than those mentioned before: Great, I say, are they;
forasmuch as neither the church of Antichrist, nor his instruments
of worship, can either live or stand without them. Wherefore, it
was admitted to the image of the beast, not only to speak, but to
cause. To speak out his laws of worship, 'and cause that as many
as would not worship the image of the beast, should be killed'
(Rev 13:15). And mark, This is because that the life that was
communicated to the image of the beast, was by him also communicated
to his word and authority. Wherefore, these laws must not be
separated from those in which the spirit of Antichrist is; yea,
they are the very pillars and sinews by which antichristianism
remains: And were these dis-spirited, the whole building would
quickly become a ruinous heap.

What could the king of Babylon's golden image have done, had it
not been for the burning fiery furnace that stood within view of
the worshippers? (Dan 3). Yea, what could that horrible command,
to pray, for thirty days, to neither God nor man, but to the king,
have done, had it not been for the dark den, and the roaring lions
there in readiness to devour those that disobeyed it? (Dan 6). As
therefore the burning fiery furnace, and the den of lions, were
the support of the horrible religion of the Babylonians of old; so
popish edicts are the support of the religion of Antichrist now;
and as long as there is spirit, that is, authority, in them, they
are like to those now mentioned; the spirit of such laws is that
that makes them dreadful: For as the furnace would have been next
to nothing, if void of fire; and the den as little frightful, if
destitute of lions; so these laws will be as insignificant, when
Christ has slain that spirit that is in them; that spirit that
causes that as many as will not worship the image of the beast,
should be killed.

Nor can any sword reach that life of Antichrist that is in these,
but the sword of Christ's mouth: Therefore, as all the religious
rites and ceremonies of Antichrist are overthrown by his spirit
working in his, as Christians; so those antichristian laws will
have their soul and their life taken from them also by this spirit
of his mouth working in some of his, as magistrates, and no otherwise;
for before kings and princes, &c. come to be enlightened about the
evils that are in such edicts, by the spirit of the living God,
they will let this image of the beast both speak and cause, &c.
But when they shall see, they will say, let it be decreed that
this prop of Antichrist be taken down. It was decreed by Darius,
that they that prayed, for thirty days, to any God but him, should
be cast into the den of lions (Dan 6:9); but this was before he
saw; but when he came to see, then he decreed again; a decree that
quite took away the power of that which he had decreed before (Dan
6:26).

Nor are we without instances of this kind nearer home: who is now
afraid of the act for burning of those that papists call heretics,
since by the king and parliament, as by the finger of God, the
life and soul is taken out of it. I bring this to shew you, that
as there is life in wicked antichristian penal laws, as well as
in those that are superstitiously religious; so the life of these,
of all these, must be destroyed by the same spirit working in
those that are Christ's, though in a diverse way.

Nor will the life of these sinews, as I have called them, be
taken away; but as God shall enlighten men to see the abominable
filthiness of that which is antichristian worship: as would easily
be made appear, if some that dwell in those countries where the
beast and his image have been worshiped, would but take the pains
to inquire into antiquity about it. As the noble king, king Henry
VIII did cast down the antichristian worship; so he cast down the
laws that held it up: so also did the good king Edward his son.
The brave queen, queen Elizabeth also, the sister to king Edward,
hath left of things of this nature, to her lasting fame behind
her. And if one such law of Antichrist hath escaped the hand of
one, another hath taken it, and done that execution on it that
their zeal and piety prompted them to.

There is yet another thing that the spirit of Antichrist is
immediately concerned in; and that is, the antichristian names
of the men that worship the beast: the names, I mean, that the
Antichrist hath baptized them into: for those names are breathed
upon them by the very spirit of Antichrist; and are such as
are absolutely names of blasphemy, or such as do closely border
thereupon; some such as Elihu durst not for his life give unto
men, only he calls them 'flattering titles' (Job 32:21,22). Now
therefore, of the danger (though not of the names themselves) you
read sufficiently in the scripture; and perhaps the Holy Ghost
has contented himself with giving of items that are general, that
men might, as to them, be the more cautious of what names they
give one to another (Rev 17:5); but this is clear, they are worn
by men of spiritual employ: but since they are but mentioned, and
are not distinctly nominated, how should we know which are they,
and which not? Verily, by searching the word of God, and by seeing
by that what names we are allowed to give unto men, with reference
to their offices, dignities, and places: for God has a quarrel with
the names, as well as with the persons that wear them; and when
his Son shall down with Antichrist, he will slay seven thousand
names of men, as well as the persons of the worshippers of the
beast (Rev 11:13).

But there are things, as well as men (Job 22:28); and these also have
been baptized into those names by the very spirit of Antichrist,
and must be destroyed by Christ, the spirit of his mouth, and the
brightness of his coming: 'The idols he shall utterly abolish' (Isa
2:18); and there are men that are idols as well as things (Zech
11:17): wherefore, let men have a care, as to shun the worship of
idols, so that they bare not the name, or stand in the place of
one: and the reason of this caution is, because name and thing
are both abominable unto God.

To give you the number of these names that the spirit of Antichrist
has baptized men into, (besides the things that do also wear such
blasphemies upon them,) would be a task too great for me, and too
wearisome for you. It shall satisfy then, that I give you notice
that there are such things and men and names; and that I put you
upon search to find out what they be. But whatsoever of the spirit,
or soul, or life of Antichrist is in these names, men, or things,
must be consumed by Christ, by the spirit of his mouth, and the
brightness of his coming.5

Another thing that I would touch upon is this; to wit, The lying
legends, and false miracles that Antichrist cries up: These, by
the means of which such as dwell upon the earth are deceived, and
made to adore and worship the beast: these have their life and soul
(as had those mentioned before) from the spirit of wickedness;
and must be destroyed as they, namely, by Christ, the spirit of
his mouth, and the brightness of his coming: for these are not of
the body of Antichrist, but rather such implements, or whatever
you will call them, by which the spirit and soul of Antichrist
is conveyed into, and kept also alive in the body of Antichrist,
which is the church and synagogue of Satan; you may call them
organs and means by which that wicked worketh in the mysteries of
iniquity, for the begetting of, and maintaining a lying and false
belief of the religion of the beast: nor can it be thought, but
that, as the antichristian statists6 of Antichrist, mentioned
before, do put a dread and fear upon men that are worshippers
of the beast, and his image, to the holding of them still to his
service; so these legends and miracles do, on the other hand,
abridge and bind their consciences to that worship; but all because
of that spirit of Antichrist that is in them.7

So then, here is the spirit of Antichrist diffusing itself into all
the things pertaining to the kingdom of the beast; for it dwells
in the body of Antichrist; it dwells in the matters and things
of worship of Antichrist; it dwells in the titles and names that
are antichristian; and it dwells in the laws, legends and miracles
of Antichrist. And as it is the spirit of Antichrist, so it must
be destroyed; not by sword, nor by bow, but by Christ, as fighting
against it with the spirit of his mouth, and as conquering of it
by the brightness of his coming.

THE BODY OF ANTICHRIST DESTROYED, AND HOW.

We come now to discourse of the body or flesh of Antichrist, and
of the destruction of that; for that must be destroyed also. Now
the body of Antichrist, is that church or synagogue in which the
spirit of Antichrist dwells, or unto which the spirit of Antichrist
is become a soul and life.

And this is to be destroyed, either as it is a body mystical, or
under the more gross consideration.

First, As it is a body mystical, and so it is to be destroyed
absolutely.

Secondly, As it is to be considered more grossly, and so it is to
be destroyed conditionally. That is, if repentance doth not save
the men that have gone to the making up of this body, and to the
rejoicing in it.

As she is a body mystical, so she is to be destroyed the same way
that the things of Antichrist, of which we discoursed before, were
to be destroyed; to wit, by Christ, the spirit of his mouth, and
the brightness of his coming.

This then is the sum, as to this: That the church of Antichrist,
as a church, shall be destroyed by the word and spirit of Christ.
Nor can anything in heaven prevent it, because the strong God
has decreed it: 'and a mighty angel took up a stone, like a great
mill-stone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence
shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found
no more at all' (Rev 18:21). This city, Babylon, is here sometimes
considered in the whole, and sometimes as to the parts of it;
but always, whether in whole, or in part, as some, or else as the
whole of the antichristian church; and as such, it must not be
destroyed, but by the means aforesaid. By which means her witchcrafts,
spiritual whoredoms, spiritual murders, thefts, and blasphemies,
shall be so detected and made manifest, so laid open, and so
discovered, that the nations shall abhor her, flee from her, and
buy her merchandise no more (Rev 18:11). Hence her tempting things
rot, and moulder away; for these will not keep, they are things
not lasting, but that perish in the using: what then will they
do when they are laid by? Therefore it follows, 'All things which
were [thy] dainty and goodly [ones] are departed from thee, and
thou shalt find them no more at all' (Rev 18:14). Now, if when
she had things to trade with, her dealers left her; how shall she
think of a trade, when she has nothing to traffic with? Her things
are slain, and stink already, by the weapons that are made mention
of before; what then will her carcase do? It follows then, that
as to her church-state, she must of necessity tumble: wherefore,
from Revelation 18:22 to 24, you have the manner of her total ruin
as a church, and something of the cause thereof.

But as she must, with reference to her body, be considered
mystically as a church; so also she must be considered as a body
of men, (this is that which I called more grossly,) and as such,
against whom the wrath of God will burn, and against whom, if
repentance prevent not, he will have indignation for ever. These,
I saw are them; to wit, as they are the body of the people, that
have been seduced by this spirit of Antichrist, that have been
made use of to do all the mischiefs that have been done both to
true religion, and to the professors of it, for this many hundred
years, wherefore these must not escape. Wherefore you find, that
after Antichrist, as to the spirit and mystery of Antichrist, is
slain, that the body of Antichrist, or the heap of people that
became her vassals, come next to be dealt withal.

Therefore, the angel that standeth in the sun, makes a proclamation
to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, to gather
themselves, and to come unto the supper of the great God; that
they may eat the flesh of the several sorts of the men that have
been the lovers, the countenancers, the upholders and defenders of
her antichristian state, worship, and falsehoods (Rev 19:17,18):
for abundance of their hearts shall be hardened, and made yet more
obdurate, that they may be destroyed for the wickedness that they
have done.

Wherefore, you find (as did the enemies of the church of old,)
that they might revenge themselves for the loss of their idol, or
antichristian state, begin a new war with the king, whose name
is the Lord of hosts: 'And I saw the beast, and the kings of the
earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him
that sat on the horse, and against his army' (Rev 19:19).

Their implacable malice remained when their church-state was gone;
wherefore they will now at last make another attempt upon the men
that had been the instruments in Christ's hand to torment them
that dwelt on the earth; of which more hereafter.

Now therefore is the last stroke of the batter,8 with reference to
the destroying of the body of Antichrist; only the head of this
monster remains, and that is SATAN himself: wherefore, the next
news that we hear, is, that he is taken also: 'And I saw an angel
come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a
great chain in his hand. and he laid hold on the Dragon, that old
serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand
years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and
set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more,
till the thousand years should be fulfilled,' &c. (Rev 20:1-3).

BRAVE DAYS WHEN ANTICHRIST IS DEAD.

Now therefore there will be nothing of Antichrist to be seen
throughout the nations, but ruinous heaps, and desolate places. It
is said of the army of the man of sin, when he came into the land
of God's people, though it was before him 'as the garden of Eden,'
yet behind him 'twould be as 'a desolate wilderness' (Joel 2:3);
such ruins would he make of the flock of God, and of all their
ordinances, and heavenly dainties. But when the days that I have
spoken of, shall come, it will be to him a time of retaliation:
for it shall then be done unto Antichrist, as he hath done to the
church of God: As he hath made women childless, so shall he be
made childless; as he has made Zion sit upon the ground, so now
must this wicked one come down and sit in the dust; yea, as he
has made many churches desolations, so now shall he be also made
a desolation. Wherefore, whoso will find his body, they must look
for it in the side of the pit's mouth; and whoso will find his
friends and companions, they must look for them there likewise.
'They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her
multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised,
slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land
of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go
down to the pit, he is put in the midst of them that be slain.
There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude:--There is Edom,
her kind, and all her princes, &c.--There be the princes of the
north, all of them,--which--with their--might' are laid with them
that are 'slain by the sword, and bare their shame with them that
go down to the pit' (Eze 32:25-30). For 'as Babylon hath caused
the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain
of all the earth' (Jer 51:49). The margin reads it thus: Both
Babylon is to fall, O ye slain of Israel! And with Babylon the
slain of all the earth. Now then she is gone down, when all these
things shall be fulfilled; and what remains now, but to talk of
her, as folk used to do of them that are dead: for the day will
come that the church of God shall have no more of Antichrist,
Babylon, or the mother of harlots, than only the remembrance of
her; to wit, that there was such an enemy of God in the world; that
there was such a superstitious, idolatrous, bloody people in the
world. Wherefore the people that shall be born, that shall live
to serve God in these happy days, they shall see Antichrist only
in its ruins; they shall, like the sparrows, the little robins,
and the wren, sit and sing, and chirrup one to another, while
their eyes behold this dead hawk. 'Here [shall they say] did once
the lion dwell; and there was once a dragon inhabited: here did
they live that were the murderers of the saints; and there another,
that did used to set his throat against the heavens; but now in
the places where these ravenous creatures lay, grows grass, with
reeds and rushes (Isa 35:7), [or else, now their habitation is
cursed, nettles grow, and so do thorns and brambles, where their
palaces were wont to be]. And as no good was with them while they
lived, so their name stinketh now they are dead: yea, as they
wrought mischiefs, and lived like the wild beasts when they enjoyed
their abundance; so now the wild beasts of the desert, yea, they
of the desert, shall meet with the wild beasts of the island: and
the satyr shall cry to his fellows. Their houses shall be full
of doleful creatures, even as devils and wicked spirits do haunt
the desolate houses of the wicked, when they are dead' (Isa 34).
'And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees
excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from
generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent
there: neither shall the shepherds make their folds there' (Isa
13:19,20). A while after this, as was hinted before, the Christians
will begin with detestation to ask what Antichrist was? Where
Antichrist dwelt? Who were his members? And, What he did in the
world? and it shall be answered by them that shall have skill
to consider his features by the word, by way of taunt and scorn,
'Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake
kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the
cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All
the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every
one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an
abominable branch; and as the raiment of those that are slain,
thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the
pit, as a carcase trodden under feet' (Isa 14:16-19).

There will be a strange alteration when Antichrist is dead, and that
both in the church, and in the world. The church and the members
of it then, shall wear the name of their God in their foreheads;
that is, they shall be bold in the profession of their king, and
their God; yea, it shall be their glory to be godly; and carnal
men shall praise them for it: the praise of the whole earth shall
the church of God be in those days.

Then there shall no more be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord:
no lion shall be there; the unclean shall no more tread in the
paths of God's people, but the ransomed of the Lord shall walk
there.

Glory that has not been seen nor heard of by the people that used
to walk in sackcloth, shall now be set in the land of the living.
For as it was said of Christ, with reference to his day; so it
shall be said of saints, with reference to this day: many kings
and righteous men have desired to see the things that will be seen
then, and shall not see them: but without all doubt, the men that
shall be born at this time, will consider that these glories, and
liberties, and privileges of theirs, cost the people that walked in
the king of Babylon's fiery furnace, or that suffered the trials,
troubles and tyranny of the antichristian generation, more groans
and hearty wishes, than they did them that shall enjoy them. Thus
then it will go; the afflicted prayed for them, and the possessors
bless God for the enjoyment of them.

Oh! now shall the church walk in the light of the Lord, and sit
every man under his vine, and under his fig-tree, and none shall
make him afraid!

'For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel,
and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined
with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. And the
people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the
house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for
servants and handmaids: And they shall take them captives, whose
captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors. And
it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee
rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage
wherein thou wast made to serve, that thou shalt take up this
proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor
ceased! the golden city, (or the exactress of gold) ceased! The
Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the
rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke,
he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none
hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break
forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the
cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no seller is
come up against us' (Isa 14:1-8).

Also the world will now be (as it were) another thing than it was
in the days of Antichrist: now will kings, and princes, and nobles,
and the whole commonality be rid of that servitude and bondage
which in former times (when they used to carry Bell and the dragon
upon their shoulders) they were subjected to. They were then
a burden to them, but now they are at ease. 'Tis with the world,
that are the slaves of Antichrist now, as it is with them that are
slaves and captives to a whore: they must come when she calls, run
when she bids, fight with and beat them that she saith miscall her,
and spend what they can get by labour or fraud upon her, or she
will be no more their whore, and they shall be no more her bosom
ones. But now! Now it will be otherwise! Now they will have no whore
to please! Now they will have none to put them upon persecuting
of the saints! Now they shall not be made, as before, guilty of
the blood of those against whom this gentleman shall take a pet!
Now the world shall return and discern between the righteous and
the wicked; yea, they shall cleave to, and countenance the people
of God, being persuaded, as Laban was of Jacob, that the Lord will
bless them for his people's sakes: for at this day, 'the remnant of
Jacob shall be [among the Gentiles] in the midst of many people,
as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth
not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men' (Micah 5:7).

Also in these days men shall come flocking into the house of God,
both kings and princes, and nobles, and the common people, as the
doves do to their windows: and for that cause it is spoken to the
church, with reference to the latter days, saying, 'Enlarge the
place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy
habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy
stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand, and on the
left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate
cities to be inhabited' (Isa 54:2,3).

Now will be broken up those prophecies and promises that to this
day lie as under lock and key, and that cannot be opened until
they be fulfilled. Now will the Spirit of God be poured forth
abundantly; and our rivers shall be in high places, that is, shall
break forth from the hearts of great ones; yea, then shall our
waters be made deep: 'And I will cause their rivers to run like
oil, saith the Lord God' (Eze 32:14). Then shall the differences,
the divisions and debates that are among the godly, cease: for
men 'shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion'
(Isa 52:8): yea, the watchmen of God's people shall do so; for it
is for want of light in them, that the lambs have so butted one
another.

Now the church of God shall read with great plainness the depths
of providence, and the turnings and windings of all God's dark and
intricate dispensations, through which she hath waded in the cloudy
and dark day: now, I say, they shall see there was an harmony in
them; and that if one of them had been wanting, the work and way
of her deliverance could not have been so full of the wisdom,
and justice, and goodness of God; Wherefore now will that song be
sung with clearer notes than ever: 'Great and marvellous are thy
works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou king
of Saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?
for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship
before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest' (Rev 15:3,4).
And again, 'For true and righteous are his judgments: For he
hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her
fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her
hand' (Rev 19:2).

OF THE MANNER OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.

What Antichrist is, I have told you; and that as to his soul and
body. I have also told you where, or in what things the spirit
and life of Antichrist lieth, and how he shall reign for a time.
I have moreover shewed you that he shall be destroyed, and by
what, and that with reference both to his soul and body. Wherefore,
waving other things, I shall here only present you with a few short
hints concerning the manner of his downfall.

There is the downfall, the time of the downfall, and the manner
of the downfall of Antichrist.

The manner of the downfall of Antichrist, may be considered, either
with respect to the suddenness, unexpectedness, terribleness, or
strangeness thereof. It may also be considered with respect to the
way of God's procedure with her, as to the gradualness thereof.
As to the suddenness thereof, 'tis said to be in an hour. It is
also to be, when by her unexpected; for then she saith, 'I sit
a queen' (Rev 18:7,8). For the terribleness of it, The nations
shall shake at the sound of her fall (Eze 31:16,17). And for the
strangeness thereof, it shall be to the wonder of the world (Isa
14:12), it will be as when God overthrew Sodom.

But I shall not enlarge upon this method in my discourse, but
shall shew you the manner of the ruin of Antichrist, with respect
to the gradualness thereof (Eze 16:36-43; Rev 18:8; Isa 47:9).

Antichrist then shall be brought to ruin gradually; that is, by
degrees: A part after a part; here a fenced city, and there a high
tower, even until she is made to lie even with the ground. And yet
all shall be within the compass of God's days, hours, or moments;
for within the compass of these limited times Antichrist shall be
destroyed.9

Now, (as I said) He, she, Sodom, Egypt, Babylon, Antichrist, shall
be destroyed, not all at once, after the way of our counting of
time; but by step after step, piece after piece. And perhaps there
may be in the words now following, something that signifies this:
They shall 'shew the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one
end' (Jer 51:31). This is also shewed by the vessels in which is
contained the wrath of God for her, together with the manner of
pouring of it out. The vessels in which it is contained are called
VIALS; Now a vial is that which letteth out what is contained in
it by degrees, and not all at once.

There are also two things to be considered, as to the manner of
its being poured out of them. The first respecteth the nature of
the vial. The other, the order of the angels that poured forth this
wrath.

For the First: The vial, as it letteth out what is in it by degrees;
so it doth it with certain gusts, that are mixed with strength and
violence, bolting it out with noise, &c.

As for the order of the angels, or that order that they observe,
they plainly shew that this enemy must come down by degrees; for
that these vials are by them poured out one after another, each one
working something of their own effects, before another is poured
forth. The first is poured forth upon the antichristian earth: The
second, upon her sea: The third is poured forth upon her rivers:
And the fourth, upon her sun: The fifth is poured forth upon the
seat of the beast: The sixth, upon her Euphrates: And the seventh,
into her air (Rev 16:2-17). And, I say, they are poured forth
not all at one time, but now one, and then another. Now, since by
these vials Antichrist must fall; and since also they are poured
forth successively: 'Tis evident that this man of sin, this son
of perdition, is to fall and die by degrees. He would not die at
all, as is manifest by his wrestling with it; but he is a strong
God that judges, and therefore he must come down: His friends
also, with what cordials they can, will labour to lengthen out his
tranquility; but God hath set his bounds, and he cannot go beyond
the time appointed.

We must also put a difference betwixt her being fought withal and
wounded, and that of her dying the death. Michael and his angels
have been holding of her in play a long season; but yet she is
not dead (Rev 12): But, as I said, she shall descend in battle
and perish, and shall be found no more for ever.

A TENTH PART FALLS FIRST.

To speak then to the manner of the ruin of this Antichrist, with
respect to the gradualness thereof: It must piece after piece be
overthrown, until at last every whit thereof is rolled down from
the rocks as a burnt mountain.

And hence we read that this city falls first in a tenth part
thereof, even while nine parts remain yet standing: Nor doth this
tenth part, notwithstanding the faith and faithful testimony of the
two witnesses, quite fall, until they are slain, and also raised
again: For 'tis said, The same hour that the witnesses were raised,
the tenth part of the city fell (Rev 11:13): The tenth part of
that city that reigneth over the kings of the earth, which city
is Sodom, Egypt, Babylon, or the great whore (Rev 17:18).

By the city then, I understand the church of Antichrist in its
utmost bounds; and so it reacheth as far as the beast with seven
heads and ten horns hath dominion. Hence this city is also called
cities, as one universe is called by the name of several countries,
&c. And them cities also are called 'the cities of the nations'
(Rev 16:19): For as when they are put together, they all make but
one; so when they are considered apart, they are found in number
ten, and answer to the ten horns upon the heads of the (seven
headed) beast that carries her, and do give her protection.

This then I take to be the meaning: That the antichristian church
is divided into ten parts, and each part is put under one of the
horns of the beast for protection: But that aid and protection
shall not help, when God shall come to execute judgment upon her:
For it saith, 'A tenth part of the city fell'; that is, first, and
as a forerunner of the fall of all the rest: Now where this tenth
part is, or which of the ten parts must fall first, or whether
indeed a tenth part is already fallen, that I will leave to those
that are wiser than myself to determine.

But since I am speaking of the fall of a tenth part of Antichrist;
a word or two about the means of the fall thereof.

The means of the fall of this tenth part, is an earthquake; yet
not such as is universal, over the face of all, but an earthquake
in that tenth part where that city stood that should fall. Now
by earthquakes here, cannot be meant any thing but such a shaking
as unsettleth the foundations of this tenth part: But whether it
shall be in this tenth part as a city, or in it as a state, that
I shall not determine; only my thoughts are, That it shall be
an earthquake in that kingdom where this tenth part shall happen
to be: An earthquake not to overthrow further than is appointed;
and that is the city which is called the tenth part of the great
Antichrist. So far as that state is a state, so far then it is
shaken for reformation, not for destruction; for in the earthquake
were slain seven thousand (names of) men; and the remnant were
affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. But thus much for
the first: Great Babylon falleth first, in a tenth part of it.

THE NINE PARTS FALL.

Again, The next step that the strong God taketh towards the utter
overthrow of Antichrist, will be more sore upon the whole, though
not at first universal neither, yet in conclusion, it shall throw
down the nine parts that are left: For thus it is recorded: 'And
the cities of the nations fell': The cities of the nations, the
antichristian churches, otherwise called the daughters of the
mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth.

Now to shew you the hand of God in this second stroke, wherewith
the Lord will smite this enemy. 1. Here we have a great earthquake.

2. And then, The fall of the cities of the nations.

For the earthquake, it is said to be such as never was, 'so mighty
an earthquake, and so great' (Rev 16:18); for it extended itself
as far as the other nine cities had any ground to stand on; for
it shook the foundations of them all.

The fall of the cities, was not immediately upon the shake that was
made, but the earthquake produced an eruption, an eruption in the
nine remaining parts of this city: And such an eruption as is of
the worser sort, for it divided them into a three-headed division:
'And the great city was divided into three parts': the great city,
to wit, the powers by which they were upheld. The meaning then is
this; when God shall strike this man of sin the second time, he
will not be so sparing as he was at first, when he struck but a
tenth part to the ground; but now he will so shake, so confound,
so divide, so raise up Antichrist against himself, to wit, in the
body and members of him, that they shall set to fighting, and to
tearing one another in pieces, until they have consumed the whole
of these nine parts. It was, saith the text, divided into three
parts, which divisions are the worst of all: It will be therefore
such a division as will bring them all to ruin. Hence it follows,
'And the cities of the nations fell.'

Wherefore, this three-cornered eruption will be the most dreadful
to Antichrist that ever was: It will be like that that was in
Jerusalem when she came to be laid even with the ground; and like
that that came upon the armies of the Gentiles, when they came up
to fight against Jehoshaphat.

'For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants
of Mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: And when they
had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to
destroy another' (2 Chron 20:23). This, I say, is the division
that this mighty earthquake shall make betwixt the horns that are
left to these nine parts that remained, when the tenth part of
the city fell. And this will come to pass through the increase of
the heat of God's anger: For he is angry with the waters where
the woman sitteth, because they have delivered up his beloved to
the bloody whore; wherefore, he now will give them blood to drink
in fury.

Hence his beginning to deal with Antichrist, is called, the
beginning of revenges: 'I will make [saith God] mine arrows drunk
with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood
of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges
upon the enemy' (Deu 32:42). And therefore it is said again, that
when God comes to do this work upon this Antichrist, it is because
'it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences
for the controversy of Zion' (Isa 34:8). 'For the day of vengeance
is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come' (Isa 63:4).

A peace therefore cannot be made among these cities when God has
forbidden it: Wherefore the effect of all, is, The cities of the
nations fall. There is therefore like to be no more good days
for Antichrist after this earthquake has begun to shake her: No,
nothing now is to be expected of her, but rumours, tumults, stirs,
and uproars: 'One post shall run to meet another,--to shew the
king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end': And again, 'A
rumour shall both come one year; and after that in another year
shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against
ruler,' &c. (Jer 51:31,46). So that this earthquake has driven
away peace, shaken the foundations, and will cast the nine cities
down to the ground.

GREAT BABEL FALLS.

And this is a second stroke that God will give this man of sin,
and a third cometh quickly. Wherefore it follows upon the downfall
of these cities of the nations, that 'great Babylon came into
remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of
the fierceness of his wrath.' Now then, have at great Babylon.
Great Babylon! What is that? Why, I take it to be the mother, the
metropolitan, the great whore herself: For though sometimes, by
the great whore, or great Babylon, we may understand, the church
of Antichrist in general; yet by it is meant more properly, the
mother of the daughters, of whose overthrow we have spoken before.
We are now then come to the threshold of the door of the house of
the OLD one; to the door of the mother of harlots, and abomination
of the earth. This then that but now is said to come into remembrance
with God, is that which gave being to the cities destroyed before;
to wit, the mistress, the queen, the mother-church, as she calleth
herself.

And this is the wisdom of God concerning her, that she should not
be the first that should die; but that she should live to see the
destruction of her daughters, and pine away under the sight and
sense of that, even until judgment also shall overtake herself.

Thus Pharaoh and his chief ones did live to see the greatest part
of Egypt destroyed before judgment overtook them, but at last it
came to their doors also.

Zedekiah lived to see his children slain before his face, before
judgment overtook him to his own personal destruction (Jer 52:8-11).

Babylon also, when God sent the cup of his fury unto her, yet was
to live to see the nations drink before her: 'Take the wine cup
of my fury [said God to the prophet,] and cause all the nations
to whom I send thee, to drink it' (Jer 25:15). To wit, All the
kingdoms of the world which are upon the face of the earth. 'And
Sheshach shall drink after them' (verse 26). But what was Sheshach?
may some say. I answer, It was Babylon, the princess of the world,
and at that time the head of all those nations (Dan 4:22), (as this
queen is now the mother of harlots). Wherefore, the same prophet,
speaking of the destruction of the same Sheshach, saith, 'How is
Sheshach taken? and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised!
How is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!' (Jer
51:41).

Now, if this was the method of God's proceeding with his enemies
in the way of his judgments of old, why may we not suppose that
he will go the same way with his great enemy now: especially since
those judgments mentioned before, were executed upon those, which,
in some things, were figures of the great whore. Besides, we read
here plainly, that when the cities of the nations were fallen,
great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give her to
drink of the cup.

From all which I conclude, as I did before, that the mother, the
metropolitan, the lady of kingdoms, shall live to see her daughters
executed before her face: After which she shall come into
consideration herself; for she must assuredly drink of the cup.10

This destruction therefore must be last, for the reasons urged
before, and also because she most deserves the bottom of the cup.
The bottom is the dregs, the most bitter part, and that where the
most heat, and fiercest wrath of God doth lie (Psa 75:8): Wherefore,
although you find that by the first earthquake a great slaughter
was made, and that a tenth part of the city fell; yet from
that judgment some did escape: 'And the remnant were affrighted,
and gave glory to the God of heaven' (Rev 11:13). But now, this
earthquake, by virtue of which the cities of the nations fall,
and as an effect of which great Babylon is come into 'remembrance
before God,' neither spares one of the daughters of this whore,
nor any man that is a lover of them; but it so is seconded by a
'hail-storm,' and that hail-storm worketh so in wrath, that not
one escapes by repentance. Every hail-stone was the weight of a
talent, which some say is six pounds above half an hundred weight:11By
this therefore God shews, that now his anger was wrought up to the
height. I know not wherewith so to compare these hail-stones, as
with the talent of lead that was laid over the mouth of the ephah,
which was prepared to hold the woman, whose name was wickedness,
this very whore of Babylon: For that talent of lead was to keep
down this mistress, that she might get no more out of the ephah,
and these hail-stone are to banish her out of the world (Zech
5:5-11): Therefore it follows, that she must have the most heavy
judgment, even the bottom of the cup.

'And great Babylon came into remembrance before God.' To remember
with God, is to visit either with grace or wrath, God is said to
remember Rachel, when he visited her with the blessing of a fruitful
womb (Gen 30:22). It is said also that God remembered Noah, when
the time came on that he was to be delivered from the flood (Gen
8:1). Here also he is said to remember Babylon, that is, to visit
her with his anger for the wickedness that she had committed: 'To
give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.'

Now then is the time of iniquity, when it will be come to the full;
and now also is the time of God's anger, when it will be come to
the full: Now therefore must the murders (Rev 18:24), and thefts,
and blasphemies, and fornications, &c., belonging to this mother
of harlots, be recompensed to the full, to wit, with the dregs of
this cup: Yet since the hail-stones come by weight, and the wrath
comes by measure, (for so a talent and a cup imports) it follows,
that the Almighty God, even in the midst of the heat of all this
anger, will keep to the rules of justice and judgment while he is
dealing with this enemy: He has not passions, to carry him beyond
rules of judgment; nor weakness, to cause him to fall short of
doing justice: Therefore he has (as was said) his judgments for
her by weight, and his indignation by measure: But yet this weight
and measure is not suited to her constitution, not with an intent
to purge or refine her; but it is disposed according to the measure
and nature of her iniquity, and comes to sweep her, as with the
besom of destruction, until she is swept off from the face of all
the earth.

And thus I have shewed you the manner of the ruin of Antichrist;
that is, That it will be gradual, part after part, until the whole
be overthrown. And this truth may be applied both to the soul, as
well as to the body of Antichrist: For the soul, spirit, or life
of Antichrist must also after this manner be destroyed. And hence
it is said to be consumed, that is, by degrees: For to consume, is
to destroy by degrees: Only this caution I would have the reader
remember, That much of the soul of Antichrist may be destroyed,
when none of her daughters are; and that the destruction of her
spirit is a certain forerunner of the destruction of her body in
the manner that we have related.

Now since she is dying, let us ring her passing-bell; for when she
is dead, we that live to see it, intend to ring out.

'For thus saith the Lord God; When I shall make thee a desolate
city, like the cities that are not inhabited; when I shall bring
up the deep upon thee, and great waters shall cover thee; when I
shall bring thee down with them that descend into the pit, with
the people of old time, and shall set thee in the low parts of the
earth, in places desolate of old, with them that go down to the
pit, that thou be not inhabited; and I shall set glory in the land
of the living; I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no
more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found
again, saith the Lord God' (Eze 26:19-21).

OF THE SIGNS OF THE APPROACH OF THE DOWNFALL OF ANTICHRIST.

Having in the foregoing discourse spoken of Antichrist his ruin,
and the manner thereof, I now come to speak of the signs of the
approach of her destruction. And whether I shall hit right, as to
these, that I must leave to time to make manifest; and in the mean
while to the wise in heart to judge.

That she shall fall, there is nothing more certain; and when she
is fallen, that she never shall rise again, is also as firmly
decreed; yea, and shewed too by him that cast the millstone into
the sea, and said, 'Thus with violence shall that great city
Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all' (Rev
18:21). This is therefore her fate and destiny, from the mouth
of the holy one; and is sealed up in the scriptures of truth, for
the comfort of the people that have been afflicted by her.

True, the time of her fall is not certainly known by the saints, nor
at all believed by her; wherefore, her plagues must come unlooked
for by her. And as to the saints, their guesses, as to the time of
her ruin, must needs be conjectural and uncertain. For her part,
she shall say, and that when she stands where she must suddenly
fall, 'I shall be a lady for ever' (Isa 47:7-9). And as to the
saints that would very willingly see her downfall, how often have
they been mistaken as to the set time thereof.

Nor have I been without thought, but that this mistake of the godly
may become a snare to Antichrist, and a trap to her upholders.
For what can be a greater judgment, or more effectually harden the
hearts of the wicked, than for them to behold that the predictions,
prophecies, expectation and hopes of their enemies (as to their
ruin) should quite (as to the time) be frustrate, and made void.

Moses prophesied, and the people hoped that God would give Israel
'the land of Canaan'; and yet the Canaanites beat them (Num 14:40;
Josh 7:5-9).

Jeremiah prophesied that the enemy should come and take the city
[of] Jerusalem; but because he came once, and went back without
doing it, how stout and hardened were the hearts of that people
against all the rest of his prophetic sayings, as to such a thing
(Jer 37). Now the error lay not in these prophets, but in the people's
mistaking the times: and if mistakes do so much harden the heart
of the wicked, what will they do to such of them who make it their
business to blind and harden their hearts against God, by abusing
all truths? Surely, when men seek to harden their hearts by
abusing of truth, they will do it to purpose, when they have also
the advantage of the weakness of their professed enemies to do
it by: especially when their enemies shall say they speak by the
word of the Lord, and time shall manifest it to be both a mistake
and a falsehood.

It is to be bewailed, namely, the forwardness of some in this
matter, who have predicted concerning the time of the downfall of
Antichrist, to the shame of them and their brethren: nor will the
wrong that such by their boldness have done to the church of God,
be ever repaired by them nor their works. But the judgments of God
are a great deep; and therefore who can tell, since the enemy of
God would not be convinced by the power of truth, and the virtuous
lives of some, but that God might leave them to be snared, hardened
and emboldened to run upon their unavoidable destruction, by the
lies and lightness of others. They begin to vaunt it already, and
to say, Where is the word of the Lord, as to this, let it come
now. But when Agag said, 'surely the bitterness of death is past,'
then was the time for him to be hewn in pieces (1 Sam 15:32,33).
I shall not therefore meddle with the times and seasons which the
Father hath put in his own power; no, though they as to Antichrist's
ruin are revealed; because by the Holy Ghost there is a challenge
made, notwithstanding the time is set, and by the word related to
the man of wisdom, to find it out if he can (Rev 13:18).

If Samson's riddle was so puzzling, what shall we think of this?
and though the angel hath intimated, that this sealed matter shall
be opened towards the time of the end (Dan 12:9); yet 'tis evident,
some have either been so hasty, or presumed too much upon their
own abilities: for I am sure they have missed the mark, hardened
the heart of the enemy, stumbled the weak, and shamed them that
loved them.

But since the most high hath irreversibly determined her downfall
also, let us see if we can have better success in discoursing upon
the signs, than others have had who have meddled with the timing
thereof.

FIRST SIGN.

First then. The downfall and ruin of Antichrist draws near, when the
church and people of God are driven from all those hiding-places
that God has prepared for them in the wilderness. The church of
God, when the dragon did his worst, had an hiding-place prepared
her of God, that she might not utterly be devoured by him; and so
shall have till the time of his end shall come.

Of this you read in the 12th of the Revelation, a place worthy to
be noted for this. But now, when the time of the ruin of Antichrist
draws on, then is the church deprived of her shelter, and laid
open, as one would think, to be utterly swallowed up for ever,
having no more place in the wilderness, that is, among the nations,
to hide herself from the face of the serpent. But how comes this
to be a SIGN of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist? why thus.
The time of this beast's war with the church of God, and the time
that the church shall have an hiding-place in the wilderness, are
both of a length, the one continuing forty-two months, the other a
thousand two hundred and threescore days. Now since the war that
this beast makes with the woman and her seed, and the woman's
hiding-place in the wilderness from his face, are, for length of
time, the same; what hindereth but that when the woman and her
seed can find no more shelter in the nations, the time that the
beast hath allotted him to make war against her, should be finished
also? when we therefore shall see that plots and conspiracies,
that designs for utter ruin, are laid against God's church all the
world over; and that none of the kings, princes, or mighty states
of the world, will open their doors, or give them a city for refuge;
then is the ruin of Antichrist at hand: for Haman's plot, though
the most universal that ever yet was hatching, (being laid in an
hundred twenty-seven provinces,) did but presage the deliverance
and exaltation of the Jews, and the hanging of Haman and his
sons: yea, and I take it, that the very day that this great enemy
had set for the utter overthrow of the church, God made the day
in which their deliverance began, and that from whence it was
completed; and I take that to be a type of this.

There is but one thing that I can think of that can give matter of
a shew of doubt about this thing; and that is, though the time of
this war against the saints, and that of the woman's shelter in the
wilderness as to length, be one and the same; yet whether they did
commence together, and begin to take their rise, as men do that
begin to run a race? a word therefore to this. I suppose they did
commence much together; for else with whom should this beast make
war, and how should the church escape? Or, if the beast began
his war before the woman began to have a hiding-place, why was she
not swallowed up, since in the wilderness was her only place of
shelter? Again, what needed the woman to have a place of shelter
in the wilderness, when there was no war made against her? And
yet this must be, if her thousand two hundred and threescore days,
began before the beast's forty-two months: but they ended both
together; for the beast could not kill the witnesses before they
had finished their testimony; which testimony of theirs lasted
this full time that the beast had granted him to make war with
them, to wit, one thousand two hundred and threescore days (Rev
11:3): therefore their times went out together, as will be made
appear, if you consider also that the witnesses were slain, by
virtue, not of the old, but of a new war levied against them; and
that, as it should seem, at the very time when her hiding-place
was taken from her; for then indeed, for a little season, will
the church of God be overcome, as I shall shew by and by.

Wherefore, let God's people consider and remember that when God's
church is absolutely forlorn, and has no hiding-place any longer
in the world, the kingdom of Antichrist will quickly begin to
tumble. Nor is this the alone place from whence we may gather
these conclusions.

The time of Pharaoh's tyranny, of his life, and of the deliverance
of the children of Israel, came out much together; as any will
discern that shall consider the history of them (Gen 15:13).

David, when Saul did sorely prosecute him, fled last into the
wilderness to Achish the king of Gath, a Philistine, for shelter;
and he gave him Ziklag for his refuge (1 Sam 27:5,6). And that
place so continued to David, 'till just about the time in which
Saul must die; and then behold, David's Ziklag is burnt with fire,
and himself stript naked of harbour! (1 Sam 30:1). But what matter!
The time of Saul's life, as well as of David's Ziklag, was now
upon expiring; for within three or four days after, David became
the king of Israel (1 Sam 31:1-6).

And thus also it was with the Babel-beast: His time expired, when
the captivity of Israel was upon the finishing: then was the time
of his land come, and 'in that' very 'night was Belshazzar the
king of the Chaldeans slain' (Dan 5:25-30).

Thus therefore it will happen to the church in the latter days:
her place of shelter in the wilderness; her Ziklag will be taken
from her, about the time that the war that the beast has to make
upon the woman and her seed shall be finished. But now the church
is not therefore immediately delivered, when her Ziklag is taken
from her; for after that, the beast levieth a new war, to the
overcoming and killing of the church: I say therefore, that this
is a sign, not of the downfall of Antichrist, but of the approach
thereof: for the church's bondage shall continue but three days,
and a little after this [shall be her deliverance]. Much like to
this was that of David; for after he had lost his Ziklag, for two
or three days he had sore distress: but lo, then came the kingdom
to him.

Indeed, sense and reason saith, it is a fearful thing for the church
of God to be exposed to the rage of her enemy all over the world
at once; and that all nations should shut up their gates, let
down their portcullises, bolt up their doors, and set open their
flood-gates to destroy them: but so will be the dispensation of
God, to the end deliverance may be the sweeter, and the enemies
fall the more headlong, and the arm of God the more manifest,
both for the one, and against the other. And in this will that
scripture be fulfilled: 'And there shall be a time of trouble,
such as never was since there was a nation--and at that time thy
people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written
in the book' (Dan 12:1).

Let us gather up what has been said again; namely, that it is a
sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist, when God's church
can find no more shelter in the wilderness; because when her Ziklag
is burned, the time of the war that the beast is to make against
her, is finished. Wherefore, when she hath given one desperate
struggle more, and laid the church of God, or his witnesses,
for dead, in the street of his great city, for three days and an
half, then comes the kingdom, and the long, long-looked-for rest
and glory. Wherefore it remains, that an angel should stand in
the sun, and make proclamation to all the fowls that fly in the
midst of heaven, to gather themselves together to the supper of
the great God: 'That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh
of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses,
and of them that sit on them; and the flesh of all men, both free
and bond, both small and great' (Rev 19:18). This is to be after
the forty-two months of the beast; and consequently, after the
thousand two hundred and threescore days that the church was to
be in sackcloth; yea, after the resurrection of the witnesses, as
is evident by that which follows: 'And the beast was taken, [that
is, after the second year] and with him the false prophet that
wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that
had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his
image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with
brimstone' (verse 20).

SECOND SIGN.

Secondly, Another sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist,
is this: towards the end of her reign, the nations will be made
to see her baseness, and to abhor her and her ways. They will, I
say, be made to see these things, in order to her ruin: also, when
they shall be made to see, her ruin will not be far off. For so
long as the nations and their rulers shall continue in that dead
sleep that she hath bewitched them into, by their drinking of the
wine of her fornication; so long we have no ground to think that
her ruin is at the door: but when God shall lay her before kings,
and shall discover her nakedness to the nations, then be sure her
destruction is at hand. Hence you read, that precedent to her
downfall: An angel comes down from heaven, and enlightens the earth
with his glory (Rev 10:1). [The earth;] that is, the kingdoms,
countries, and nations where the woman sitteth, or they that border
thereupon. [Enlightened;] to let them see the filthiness of the
whore. [With his glory;] with the doctrine that he had commission
to preach against her, for the discovering of her lewdness to
the earth. This also was the way that God took with backsliding
Israel of old, (and she was a type of our religious Babel) when
he intended to bring her to judgment for her sins (Eze 16:37);
and this is the way that God will take to destroy our religious
Antichrist, when he comes to deliver his people out of her hand.

For though the people that suffer at her hand, can do nothing
against her, but lay, in prayers and tears against her before the
God of heaven, and bear their witness against her before the gods
of the earth; yet when kings shall come to be concerned, and they
will count themselves concerned when they shall see how they have
been deceived by her; then let her look to it. 'Behold, I am
against thee, saith the Lord of Hosts; and I will discover thy
skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness,
and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast abominable filth upon
thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazing-stock.'
And what follows? 'And it shall come to pass, that all they that
look upon thee, shall flee from thee, and say, Nineveh is laid
waste: who will bemoan her? whence shall I seek comforters for
thee?' (Nahum 3:5-7).

Wherefore, there wants nothing but that she be discovered to the
nations and their kings; for did they but see her, though they lay
yet in her bosom, they would rise up against her, that she must
die: wherefore it is written again, I will 'bring forth a fire from
the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to
ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee'
(Eze 28:18).

The chief of the wisdom of Antichrist this day is laid out, if
perhaps by it she may cover her nakedness, and keep it from the eyes
of kings and their people. But God has said it shall not avail:
'Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen:
I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man' (Isa
47:3). But how will he make her naked? Verily, by kings. But how
shall kings do it? Why, by virtue of the glory of the angel: yea,
they 'shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh,
and burn her with fire' (Rev 17:16).

Let this, I pray, be considered, That Antichrist shall not down,
but by the hand of kings. The preacher then kills her soul, and the
king kills her body. And why should not the kings have it granted
unto them, that she should fall by their hand? the kings are those
that she has abused, that she has in the grossest manner abused,
and has served herself of them: but the time of the end of
Antichrist, mystery Babylon is coming, 'and then many nations and
great kings shall serve themselves of him' (Jer 27:7).12

Nor shall all the tricks, lies, and deceit under which formerly
she used to shroud herself, be able to prove a balm to her any
longer: No, 'in vain shalt thou use many medicines'; for no cure
shall be unto thee; 'the nations have heard of thy shame' (Jer
46:11,12).

Babylon has for a long time been 'a lady of kingdoms,' and
'a golden cup in the Lord's hand': the nations also have largely
drank of her cup, and the kings have committed fornication with her
(Rev 18:3). But now the angel is come down, and hath enlightened
the earth with his glory. Wherefore now it follows immediately,
'Babylon is fallen! is fallen!' That is, in the eyes and esteem
of the nations, as well as otherwise.

True, some of the kings will bewail her fall, and will cry, Alas!
Alas! when they see that they cannot help her; for that they shall
see, as is evident, because they stand afar off to lament her,
'afar off for the fear of her torment.' The kings therefore into
whose hands God shall deliver her, and who shall execute his
judgments upon her, shall be more mighty and powerful to bring her
down, than shall be the whole world besides to uphold her.

The Protestant Kings.

And this observe further, That as the kings that shall hate her,
shall hate her because in the light of the glory of the angel they
are made able to see her filthiness; so the kings that shall bewail
her, are such as in judgment are left in the dark, and that shall
be bewitched by her to the end. This therefore will let us see
something of the meaning of God, in that he has drawn off from
her some of the kings already; to wit, that he might train them
up by the light of the gospel, that they may be expert, like men
of war, to scale her walls, when the king of kings shall give out
the commandment to them so to do.

There has been a great deal of talk in the countries about the ruin
and destruction of Babylon; but could we see more of the kings
engaged against her, we should hope groundedly that her fall was
at the door. Well, blessed be God for what kings there are, and
the Lord turn the hearts of many more to hate her.

Some, as I said before, have adventured to foretell the time of
her downfall; but give me the signs thereof. This therefore is a
sign, a sign that her downfall approaches, when God shall lay her
nakedness before the nations, and put it into the hearts of kings
to abhor her. The signs of the times the Lord Jesus would have us
mind; and because the Jews neglected them, though as to the time
they hit pretty right, yet they missed of the thing that the time
brought forth.

THIRD SIGN.

Thirdly, A third sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist,
is this: 'When Babylon is become the habitation of devils, &c.,'
then the downfall thereof is upon us. True, Babylon was always an
habitation for devils; but not an habitation only for them; Israel
once dwelt there, and our Antichrist was sometimes a place of
residence for good men. The meaning then, is, When you shall see
the church and people of God so forsake her that she is left in
a manner to herself, and to her disciples, then she is to fall
quickly. When you hear it proclaimed by them that are yet in her,
of God's people, 'We would have healed Babylon, but she is not
healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country'
(Jer 51:9): Then she will soon be hissed out of the world: for
this is the way of the wisdom of God; namely, to bring his people
out of a city or place, when he intends the ruin of that place.
When God was about to destroy the old world, he put his Noah into
an ark: when God was about to destroy Sodom, he sent his Lot away
thence to Zoar: when Christ was about to destroy Jerusalem, he bid
his disciples flee from the midst of that: and when there shall
be by God a hissing for his people; and when they shall hear him,
and obey, and gather to him, then you shall see what will become
of this enemy of Christ: 'I will hiss for them, and gather them;
for I have redeemed them' (Zech 10:8-12).

I say therefore, when Babylon shall become the habitation of
devils, a hold for all foul spirits, and a cage for every unclean
and hateful bird, then Babylon is fallen.

And thus the angel that lightened the earth with his glory,
proclaimed, 'Babylon the great is fallen! is fallen! and is become
the habitation of devils, and a hold for every foul spirit, and a
cage for every unclean and hateful bird.' Wherefore it must be,
that by that her time is come that she should fall, God will have
gleaned his people from the midst of her. And when God shall have
gleaned his people from the midst of her, those that are left behind
will appear more than ever to be what they are, to wit, devils,
foul spirits, and hateful birds; wherefore, now will Antichrist
appear in his own most proper colours.

But to comment a little upon the words.

Babylon 'Mystery Babylon' (Rev 17:5). The antichristian church.

'Is fallen! Is fallen!' In the eyes and faith of the godly, by
her dropping into the dregs of degeneracy, and so is become the
habitation of devils, &c., in order to her falling into utter and
unavoidable destruction for ever.

'Is become.' That is, through the labour of the fanners and winnowers
that God hath sent to fan Babylon, and to fetch out his people,
that she might be left to her chaff: 'I will send [saith God to
Babylon] fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land
[of good men;] for in the day of trouble they shall be against
her round about' (Jer 51:2).

'An habitation of devils.' Devils: not such by nature, but by
practice. Incarnate devils. For when the time is come that Babylon
must be destroyed, she shall be found to be an habitation for the
most vile of the sons of men. For as devils have acted towards the
world, so shall the sons of this sorceress, and this whore, act
towards Christ and his members in the latter days. And, perhaps,
the departing of Zion from the midst of her, will blow her up
into this spirit of devilism. Let God's people therefore, when
Antichrist is towards her end, look for nothing from her, but what
the devil, in times past, used to do; to wit, all sinful subtilty,
malice, wrath, fraud, deceit, lying, murder, false accusings, and
implacable madness of spirit to do them mischief. (But Lord God!
think I, what will become of good men! and where will they be safe
in such days? Only I comfort myself, by saying to myself again,
this a sign that the ruin of Antichrist is at the door.) But this
I say, he must needs be a tuneable man, that shall be able in those
days to sing this song to himself at all seasons: for this is to
drive reason backward, and to set the cart before the horse. For
what will the good man's reason say, when it seeth all Babylonians
are become devils, but that the church of God will certainly
be torn in pieces? But behold! the text and the Holy Ghost runs
counter. 'Babylon is fallen! is fallen! and [or, for it] is become
the habitation of devils.' These words for certain are the words
of an holy angel; for it could not have entered into the heart of
mere man to have conceived them.

'An habitation.' To be an habitation (for devils) is to be their
house, their dwelling-place, their place of privilege, their place
of rest and abode, or thither whither they have right to go.
And thus will Babylon be; that is, an house, an habitation, a
dwelling-place, and a place of rest, only for devilish-minded men;
thither may such men come; for such her doors stand open, and
there may such inhabit. When therefore you see good men come out
thence, and all sorts of wicked men flock in thither, then know
that Babylon is near her end.

'And a hold for every foul spirit.' Understand by spirit, either
those that are devils by nature, or such as are such otherwise.
But I think that the angel chiefly intends all manner of unclean
and filthy spirits; and so the church and members of Babylon, their
only place of safety: Or if you understand it of the uncleanness
of the spirits and minds of men, then the meaning is, that they
are called foul spirits, in allusion to those of devils which go
by the same name (Mark 9:25). But however, or which way soever
taken, it seems Babylon is their hold; that is, their place of
defence: For by an hold, we often understand a place of strength,
a castle, a fort, a tower; so that these devils, these foul-spirited
men, these Babylonians, will not only find house-room and harbour
in Babel, but shelter, defence and protection, when she is near
her ruin: yea, they will find her an upholder to them, and a
countenancer of them, in all their foul and devilish pranks; yea,
such an hold shall she be to such foul spirits in such foul acts,
that it shall not be possible that they should be driven from her,
or from them: For an hold is often taken in the scriptures for a
place that is impregnable, and must be so taken here. This intimates
then, that some faint opposition by the kings and nations will be
made against these inhabiters, foul spirits, but to little purpose,
until the time of her land shall come (Jer 27:7); for in their
hold they still will be secured and defended from what reason,
law and scripture can or would do unto them. Thus then we see how
Babel, towards her end, will be filled, and with what, to wit,
with devils and foul spirits; yea, and that she will not only be
an habitation, but a place of defence for such.

'And a cage for every unclean and hateful bird.' Those that before
are called devils, and foul spirits, are also here called 'birds,
unclean and hateful beasts.' By the term [Birds,] he may allude
to that of the prophet Isaiah, where these unclean birds are
mentioned (34:11-17) And by cage, he may allude to the prophet
Jeremiah, from whom, as I think, the Holy Ghost takes those words;
but then we must put men in the place of birds, and the Babylonian
kingdom for the cage (Jer 5:27).

'Every unclean bird.' As was said before, a hold for every foul
spirit. These unclean birds therefore are not all of one feather,
or kind, but of all and every kind; and it intimates, that the
worst act of all professions, shall be, as in a cage, in Babylon,
a little before her downfall. But I say, if they will not be all
of one feather, yet in their temper they will somewhat agree,
being either in shape, monstrous; of appetite, ravenous; or,
of inclination, lovers of the night. For of all these sorts were
the forbidden, or unclean birds among the Jews. Now since these
unclean birds are not all of one feather, or kind, it intimates
that the basest of all sorts, sects, professions and degrees, shall
take shelter in Babylon towards her end; and that they shall there,
in their temper, unanimously agree to show themselves monstrous,
to devour and eat up the poor and needy, and to blow out the light
of the gospel.

'A cage.' Not to imprison them in, but for them to sit and sing
in, to confer their notes in, to make melodious music in; I mean,
melodious to their own thinking; for the ass thinks that he sings
full favouredly, and the owl endeavours to lift up her voice above
all the birds of the wood: But it will be a prediction of her fall,
and that her ruin is at the door.

Of these birds Zephaniah speaks, when he prophecies of the downfall
of Nineveh, saying, 'The cormorant and the bittern [shall] lodge in
the uppermost lintels of it, their voice shall sing in the windows;
[when] desolation shall be in the thresholds' (Zeph 2:14). An
unseasonable time to sing in; for when death is coming in at the
door, mourning should be in the chambers. But this is the judgment
of God, That she should be a cage for every unclean bird to sing
in, even then when her destruction and desolation cometh upon her.

To sing, as in a cage, doth also denote security, and that the
heart is far from fear; for she saith, 'I shall see no sorrow, in
that hour in which her judgment comes.'

But is this a sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist? And
must those that shall live to see those days, rejoice when these
things begin to come to pass? Are not these things rather a sign
that the utter overthrow of the church of God is at the door?
Indeed, to sense it is, and reason will be apt to say so: But hark
what the Holy Ghost saith! 'She is fallen! is fallen now!'

When therefore we shall see men like devils; yea, every foul spirit,
and hateful bird, flock to, and take shelter in Babylon; let us
not be frighted or dejected, but pluck up our hearts, and say,
This is one of the signs that the downfall of Babylon is near.
Wherefore it follows, after that the prophet had told us that these
birds should dwell in the land of the people of God's curse (Isa
34). That 'the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad
for them; [for that they are there] and the desert shall rejoice,
and blossom as the rose: It shall blossom, [saith he] abundantly,
and rejoice even with joy and singing: The glory of Lebanon shall
be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall
see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.' And
to support the weak from those fears that in those days will be
pulling of them down, he adds, 'Strengthen ye the weak hands, and
confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart,
Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance,
even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. Then the
eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall
be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the
tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break
out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground shall become
a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: In the habitation
of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called,
The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it
shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err
therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go
up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall
walk there. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to
Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: They shall
obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away'
(Isa 35).

What say ye now, ye sons of God! Will you learn to make a judgment
of things according to the mystery of the wisdom of God, or will
ye longer conclude according to sense and reason: 'He turneth
the shadow of death into the morning' (Amos 5:8). And commands
oft-times, that the fairest day should succeed the foulest night.
Wherefore, when we see these devils, foul spirits, and unclean birds
in Babylon; yea, when we see good men leave her, and the vilest
run in to her, then let us sing the angels' song, and say, 'Babylon
the great is fallen! is fallen! and is become the habitation of
devils, and a hold for every foul spirit, and a cage for every
unclean and hateful bird.'

FOURTH SIGN.

Fourthly, another sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist,
is, 'The Slaying of the Witnesses': For the witnesses are to be
slain before the fall of Antichrist; and that by the hand of the
beast, who shall manage the members of Antichrist, having qualified
them before that work, with those qualifications of which you
read in the sign foregoing. For what can better fit a generation
for such a work, than to be themselves all turned devils, and
also succourers of all foul spirits. Wherefore, they must be the
wickedest of men that shall do this: the very scum of the nations,
and the very vilest of people. Nor is this a new notion: God
threatened to give his sanctuary 'into the hands of strangers for
a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil' (Eze 7:21);
To robbers, burglars, and they should defile it (verse 22). Again,
saith God of his people, 'I will bring the worst of the heathen,
and they shall possess their houses' (verse 24). For the truth
is, this work is too bad for men either of reason or conscience
to be found in the practice of. The hangman is usually none of
the best: The witnesses are also to be slain; but not a man, but
a beast must slay them; 'a den of thieves, a hold of foul spirits,'
must do it.

That the witnesses must be slain before the fall of Babylon, has
been hinted already. Also, that their death is a forerunner of
the ruin of Antichrist, has before been touched upon; but in this
place I shall a little enlarge.

And therefore I proceed: 'And when they shall have finished their
testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit
shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill
them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great
city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also
our Lord was crucified. And they of the people, and kindreds and
tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and
an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put into
graves.' 'And after three days and an half, the spirit of life
from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and
great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great
voice from heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither: And they
ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them'
(Rev 11:7-12).

Thus you see their death is before their deliverance. Also their
death is to be by the hand of the beast; to wit by the men that
have and hold his mark, and that of his image, and that are of the
number of his name. You see also that their death is not only a
forerunner of their deliverance, but a sign that their deliverance
is at the door; since the one is but three days and an half before
the other.

And if a short comment upon this text will give a little light to
the reader, I shall not count my labour lost.

And when they shall have finished their testimony, when, or about
the time they have done their work of witness-bearing for God
in the world: When they have made or are making an end of giving
their testimony for Christ, and against the witchcrafts, idolatries,
sorceries, fornications, thefts, murders, and wickedness of
Antichrist: Then and not till then.

'The beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit.' The beast:
The power that carrieth and beareth up Antichrist, the mother of
harlots: The beast upon which the woman sitteth, and by the heads
and horns of which she is protected and defended; he is said to
ascend out of the bottomless pit; for that he manifesteth by his
doings, that he was born there, and came to [do] the work of the
king thereof.

'Shall make war against them.' We read that he made war against them
all the time of their prophesying in sackcloth, while they were
bearing their testimony against his doing; and that his commission
was, That he should have leave to make war so long (Rev 12:6). But
here we read again, that when they had finished their testimony,
and so consequently he had run out the time of his first commission
for war, he makes war again. So that this war which now he raiseth
against them, seems to be another, a new war, and such as is
grounded upon other, to wit, new arguments, besides those upon
which his first war stood. By his first war, he sought to beat down
and overthrow their testimony (Rev 13:4). By this war he seeketh
to overthrow themselves. The first war he made, was grounded upon a
vain confidence of his ability to destroy their faith; but this
last was grounded upon madness against them, because their testimony
had prevailed against him: Wherefore, Torment, wherewith these
witnesses by their testimony tormented him and his followers, was
the cause of this last war. And this is insinuated when he saith,
'They make merry for their victory over them, because these two
prophets,' (to wit, by their testimony,) 'tormented them that
dwelt on the earth' (Rev 11:10).

The beast therefore will make a war against the witnesses all the
time of their prophesying in sackcloth, which will be a thousand
two hundred and threescore days (Rev 12:6). In all which time
they shall give him the foil, and overcome him by their faith and
testimony; and be proclaimed more than conquerors over him, through
the Christ that loved them. But now in this second war he overcomes
them, 'he overcomes them, and kills them.'

Jezebel for a long time made war against Elias the prophet,
seeking to overthrow the worship of God which he maintained, and
to establish the religion of Baal: But when she saw that by all
she could do she got nothing, but that the prophet got the day of
her worship, priests and worshippers (1 Kings 18:30-40), she breaks
out into a rage, as one tormented almost to death, and raises a new
war; not now against his religion, but his person, and desperately
swears by all the gods that she had, That by tomorrow that time
the life of the prophet should be as the life of one of her priests
whom he had slain for an idolater (1 Kings 19:2). When the devil
sees that he cannot do by argument, he will try if he can by blows.

When Zedekiah, the son of Chenanah, saw that with argument he
could not overcome Micaiah, he steps to him, and takes him a box
of the ear (1 Kings 22:24). This new war, is a box of the ear which
the beast will give the witnesses, because they overcame him by
their faith and testimony, all the time that the first war lasted.

Now how long this second war will last, and what strugglings the
witnesses will make before he shall overcome them, I know not:
This I know, that the text saith, 'by this war he shall overcome
them.'

'And shall overcome them.' Saints are not said to be overcome,
when they are imprisoned, banished, and killed for their faithful
testimony: No, by these things they overcome. To overcome then,
is to get the mastery, to subdue, to turn out of possession, to
take and hold captive, to strip the subdued of power and privilege,
as is sufficiently manifest both by scripture and reason: 'For of
whom a man is overcome, of the same he is brought in bondage' (2
Peter 2:19).

So then, when he is said to overcome them, it is meant, he shall
get the mastery of them, they shall grow faint before him, have no
heart or spirit to bear up in their profession against him: Against
him, I say, as she did the thousand two hundred and threescore
days' war with him; for then they were overcomers, and did bear
away the garland.

Nor do I, for my part, wonder at this, when I consider that these
witnesses are a succession of good men; and that when Israel came
out of Egypt of old, the feeble and weak-handed did come behind
(Deu 25:17-19). It will be the lot therefore of the church, in
the latter end of the reign of the beast, to be feeble and weak in
their profession, the valiant ones having gone before: These will
come, when those that were able have bravely borne their testimony,
or when they are upon finishing of that: In comparison of whom,
they that come after will be but like eggs to the cocks of the
game: wherefore they must needs be crushed, cowed, and overcome.
And then will the beast boast himself, as did his type of old,
and say, 'My hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people:
and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the
earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth,
or peeped' (Isa 10:14).

A sad time, and it is to happen to the people that are left, to the
latter end of the witness-bearers; and that too when they shall
have finished their testimony.

Of this tyranny the cruelty of Amalek was a type; who, as was hinted
before, smote the hindermost, the weak: But his judgment is, That
'he shall perish for ever.'

'And shall overcome them.' There are two ways of overcoming; to
wit, by power and policy: And perhaps by both these ways they may
be overcome. However, overcome they shall be; for so saith the
holy word of God; yea, the beast shall overcome them. Wherefore
the church of God, at that day, will be under such a cloud as she
never was since Christ's day. Now how long they shall thus be held
captive before they are brought to execution; whether the beast
will ride in triumph while they are in his bonds; or whether he
will suddenly kill them; that time, and observation, and experience,
must make manifest: But kill them he shall, that's most certain,
for so says the Holy Ghost.

'And shall overcome them, and kill them.' In this method therefore
God will suffer the beast to proceed with the church of God, after
she has sufficiently borne her testimony for him in the world. He
shall 'war against them,' but that is not all: He shall overcome
them, but that is not all; he 'shall overcome them, and kill them.'

'And kill them.' Of their slaughter also I shall speak a word or
two. But first I would note, as all know, that there is a difference
to be put betwixt killing and overcoming: For though every one
that is killed, is overcome: yet every one that is overcome, is
not killed (Acts 21:32): men may be overcome, and yet live (Jer
12:11); but when they are killed, it is otherwise: There may be a
cry heard from the mouth of them that are overcome, but not from
the mouth of them that are killed (Exo 32:18; Acts 7:34): They that
are overcome, may consult their own enlargement, and deliverance;
but they that are killed, cannot do so. I do therefore distinguish
between killed and overcome, because the text doth so: 'He shall
make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.'

'And kill them.' From these words therefore I will take occasion
to inquire,

1. How they are to be considered as to this slaughter.

2. What death they must die to accomplish this prophecy.

FIRST, How they are to be considered?

I answer: Not in a carnal or natural, but in a mystical sense. For,
first, they are called witnesses. Secondly, They are put under the
number of two: 'My two witnesses' (Rev 11:3). Both which are to
be mystically taken.

First, Because their testimony standeth not in their words only,
but in their conversation; yea, in their suffering also: and that
is a mystical witness-bearing.

Secondly, They go under the number of two: Not because there were
indeed two such men in the world, but because two are a sufficient
number to bear witness (Num 35:30; Deu 17:6; 19:15); and God's
church, in the most furious heat and rage of Antichrist, has
been at least of such a number of professing saints, to proclaim
against the beast and his worship in the name of God. To think
that there have been two such men in the world, is ridiculous;
for these witnesses must continue to give their testimony for God
against Antichrist, a thousand two hundred and threescore years.
Nor can they scripturally bear this title, My two witnesses, but
with respect to their prophesying so long. The witnesses therefore
are nothing else but a successive church, or the congregation of
God abiding for him against Antichrist, by reason of a continual
succession of men that is joined by the special blessing of God
unto it.

SECONDLY, What death they must die? I answer, Not a corporeal one,
but that which is mystically such. And I choose to understand it
thus, because this suiteth best with their state and condition,
which is mystical. Besides, thus did they (when they did overcome,)
slay their enemies, even with the fire or sword of their mouth:
'If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth,
and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he
must in this manner be killed' (Rev 11:5). As therefore they went
about to kill their enemies, so their enemies will kill them: But
they sought to kill their enemies by their testimony, as to their
antichristian spirit, and church-state; and their enemies will
kill them, as to their Christian heat and fervency of mind; and
also as to their Christian church-state. So that, (at least so
I think,) there will be such ruins brought both upon the spirit
of Christianity, and the true Christian church-state, before this
Antichrist is destroyed, that there will for a time scarce be
found a Christian spirit, or a true visible living church of Christ
in the world: Nothing but the dead bodies of these will be to be
seen of the nations; nor them neither, otherwise than as so many
ruinous heaps. For the love that I bear to the church of Christ,
I wish, as to this, I may prove a false prophet: But this looks
so like the text, and also so like the dispensations of God with
his church of old, that I cannot but think it will be so. For the
text, I have spoken to that already; wherefore I will now present
you with some things that look like parallel cases.

First, When the church was coming out of Egypt, just before they
were delivered from Pharaoh, they were in their own eyes, and
in the eyes of their enemies, none other than dead: 'It had been
better [said they to Moses] for us to serve the Egyptians, than
that we should die in the wilderness' (Exo 14:12). The people
said so, Moses feared, and Pharaoh concluded they were all dead
men (Exo 12:33). Also Paul tells us, 'that they were baptized
[that is, buried] unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea.' They
were, for the time, to use the expression, a dead church both in
the eyes of Pharaoh, in the eyes of Moses, and also in their own.

And 'tis to be taken notice of: As the witnesses in the text were
slain but a little before the ruin of Antichrist began; so this
church was baptized in the sea but a little before great Pharaoh
was drowned there.

Secondly, In the time of Elias, which time also was typical of
this, what church was there to be seen in Israel? None but what
was under ground, buried in dens, and in caves of the earth: Yea,
the prophet could see none, and therefore he cried to God, and
said, Lord, they have 'digged down thine altars,' and slain thy
prophets, 'and I am left alone, and they seek my life' (1 Kings
19:14; Rom 11:3). What visible living church was now in the land,
I mean, either with reference to a godly spirit for it, or the
form and constitution of it? What was, was known to God, but dead
to every man alive.

Thirdly, What was the dry bones that we read of in the 37th
of Ezekiel, but the church of God, and also a figure of what we
are treating of? And why called dry bones, since the people were
alive, with their substance, wives, and children; but to shew, that
that church of God was now, as to their spirit and church-state,
accounted as dead, not only by themselves, but by the king of
Babylon, and the nations round about? Babylon then was the valley,
and the grave; and the church of God were the bones: Bones without
flesh, sinews, or skin; bones exceeding dry; yea so dry and dead
were they, that the prophet himself could not tell whether ever
they should live again (Eze 37:1-3).

Now this, as I said, was a state that was not to end with the church
of Israel, but to be acted over once again by the beast with the
church of the new testament: Yea, it is an easy matter to make
their witnesses in this their death, and the church of Israel in
this their grave, in many things to symbolize.

Fourthly, Take another instance, or rather comparison, into which
the church of God compared herself, when under the king of Babylon's
tyranny: And that is, she counted herself as the dung that the
beast lets fall to the ground from behind him. And doth this look
like a visible church-state? Or has it the smell or savour of such
a thing? Nebuchadnezzar (said she) 'hath swallowed me up like a
dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast
me out' (Jer 51:34). Pray, what would you think of a man, of whom
one should tell you, That he was eaten up of a dragon; made to
fill the belly of a dragon; and cast out as the dung of a dragon?
Would you think that such an one did all this while retain the
shape, form, or similitude of a man? Why, thus the church said she
was, and thus the church shall be again: For she is once more to
be overcome, to be overcome and killed; and that by the beast,
the dragon's whelp, of which the king of Babylon was a type. And
therefore I conclude the premises; that is, That the beast will kill
the church that shall be in the latter days, as to her Christian
spiritedness, and her church-state. And I could further add, That
if we hold they die corporeally, we must conclude, that their
natural body being slain, shall lie three years and an half in
the street; yea, that their resurrection shall be corporeal, &c.
But why we should think thus, as yet I can see no reason, since the
persons are such mystically; the beast mystically so; the street
in which they be, mystically such; and the days of their unburied
state, to be taken mystically likewise. But we will pass this,
and descend to other things.

Fifthly, I will yet add another thing. When Israel was coming out
of Babylon; yea, while they were building of the temple of God,
which was a figure of our church-state now under the Gospel; they
were not only troubled, hindered and molested in their work, but
were made for a time to cease, and let the work lie still.

'Now [says the text] when the copy of king Artaxerxes' letter
[which he sent to forbid the Jews in their work] was read before
Rehum and Shimshai the scribe, and their companions, they went
up in haste to Jerusalem unto the Jews, and made them to cease by
force and power. Then ceased the work of the house of God which
is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign
of Darius king of Persia' (Ezra 4:23,24).

And I pray, since their temple-worship was a type of a new testament
church-state and worship, what doth their causing of that work to
cease signify to us, but that we must have a time also to cease as
they? And since their temple-work was caused to cease before the
house was finished, what face could there be at present thereupon,
but that, to look to, it was like some deformed, battered, broken
building, or as such an one that was begun by foolish builders?
Yea, and since the Jews left off to build God's house at the
command of the heathens, what did that bespeak, but that they had
lost their spirit, were quashed, and so as to their temple-work,
killed, as it were, to all intents and purposes? And thus it will
be, a little before the church of God shall be set free from the
beast, and all his angels: For these things were writ for our
admonition, to show us what shall be done hereafter; yea, and
whether we believe or disbelieve hereabout, time will bring it to
pass.

I do not question but many good men have writ more largely of
this matter: but as I have not seen their books, so I walk not by
their rules. If I mistake, the mistakes are only mine; and if I
shall merit shame, I alone must bear it.

Some may think they have said enough, when they assert, that for
the witnesses to be killed, is, To be dead in law. But I answer,
That is not to be overcome. They are here said to be overcome;
and that is more than to be dead in law: For a man may be dead in
law, and yet not be overcome; and if so, then far enough off from
being killed. So then, for as much as they are said to be overcome
and killed, it must be more than to be dead in law. Besides, the
text supposeth that they had yielded up, as dying men do, their
souls, their spirit of life into the hands of God: For it saith
concerning them, That at their resurrection, the spirit of life
from God entered again into them: Into them, antecedent thereunto.
'and after three days and an half the spirit of life from God
entered into them, and they stood upon their feet' (Rev 11:11).
thus it was concerning the dry bones, of which mention was made
before: 'Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy,
son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come
from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that
they may live' (Eze 37:9). And thus much concerning their killing.

Now, as I said, since in death, the body doth not only lie dead,
but the spirit of life departs therefrom; it is to shew, that not
only their bodies, their church-state, shall die, [for churches
are called bodies, (1 Cor 12:27; Eph 3:6; 4:12; 5:23; Col 1:18)]
but that spirit of life that acted those bodies, shall be taken
up to God. There shall, for a time, be no living visible church
of Christ in the world: A church, but no living church, as to
church-state: A church in ruins, but not a church in order: Even
as there was once a Christ, but no living Christ in the grave; yet
the gates of hell shall not prevail to an utter overthrow thereof,
no more than they prevailed to an utter overthrow of Christ; but
as one did, so shall the other, revive, and rise again, to the utter
confusion and destruction of their enemies: Yea, and as Christ,
after his resurrection, was, as to this body, more glorious than
he was before; so the witnesses, after their resurrection, shall
be more spiritual, heavenly, and exact in all their ways, than they
were before they were killed. Resurrections are always attended
with new additions of glory; and so shall the church of God, as
to her church-state, be in the latter days.

But yet the beast shall not altogether have his will, (if that at
all was his will) that these witnesses, in this second war, should
be conquered to a compliance with Antichrist in his foolish and
vain religion: For it is not with dead men to comply; but as they
are dead to their own church-state, so they are to his. When the
Jews had killed Christ, it was beyond all the art of hell to cause
that his body should see corruption; so when the beast has killed
the witnesses, he shall not be able to corrupt them with any of
his vices.

Hence you find, that not the witnesses, but the dwellers upon the
earth were them that danced after the devil's pipe, when he had
fulfilled their murder.

Nor doth this murder, as to the fulfilling of it in those nations
where the woman sitteth, seem to be a great way off, if all be true
that from foreign parts some have said: For what a withdrawing of
God and of his Spirit is there already in some of the churches of
God! The word worketh not that sound repentance which it was wont
to do: Preachers preach for little, but to spend themselves, as
men that are wounded do when with groans they let out their life.
Where (say some) is the spirit and life of communion? And where
that practical holiness that formerly used to be seen in the
houses, lives and conversations of professors? The whole head is
sick, and the whole heart faint already; and how long will it be
before churches die of the wound that the beast has given them,
time must make appear: But die I perceive they must; for if the
wound already given will not kill, repeated blows shall.

By all that I have said, I do not deny but that many of the people
of God may die corporeally, by the hand of the beast, in this second
war that shall be made by him against the witnesses. But should
as many more die, that will not prove that that death will be that
that by the killing of the witnesses is intended.

Some thing I would bestow upon the reader, for him to carry with
him as a memorandum, while he reads this account of things: As,

First, This victory of the beast, is not to be until the witnesses
have finished their testimony; and so by all that he shall do, he
shall not hinder the revelation of any of the truths that they
either were to bring to light, or to confirm by their witness-bearing.

Witnesses are not always bound to speak: There is a time 'to keep
silence' (Eccl 3:7), and 'thou shalt be dumb' (Eze 3:26). But how
shall we know when this time is come?

1. When a sufficient testimony has been given for Christ, and
against Antichrist, before the God of heaven; for he must be the
judge.

2. When her enemies forbear to plead against her by argument, and
rather betake themselves to blows (Matt 10:19).

3. When the spirit of testimony-bearing is taken from the church;
for that is not essential to Christianity, but is given and taken
away as there is occasion.

4. When testimony-bearing becomes a vain or needless repetition,
when they have heard sufficiently of things before (John 9:27).

Secondly, This victory of the beast shall not invalidate or weaken
their testimony; no, not in the eyes of the world; for they will
still remember, and have a reverence for it: This is intimated
by this, That 'they of the people and kindreds and tongues and
nations--(that are neither the witnesses, nor they that in the
next verse are called the inhabiters, or they that dwell upon the
earth,)--shall not suffer their dead bodies to be (buried, or be)
put in graves' (Rev 11:9).

Thirdly, This shall not lengthen the reign and tranquility of the
antichristian kingdom; nor frustrate, drive back (or cause to tarry)
the glorious freedom and liberty of the saints. But some may say,
This will be a SAD day.

So it will, and gloomy; but it will be but short, and 'the righteous
shall have dominion over them next morning.' 'Twill last but three
days and an half; nor shall it come, but for the sins of churches
and saints, and to hasten the downfall of the kingdom of the beast,
and for the sweetening to the church her future mercies. Christ
Jesus, our Lord, in answer to the question of his disciples, about
the destruction of Jerusalem, presented them with a relation of
many sad things; but when he was come even to the hearts of men,
and had told them 'that they should fail for fear': He said,
'when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift
up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh' (Luke 21:25-28).

'Tis as ordinary as for the light to shine, for God to make black
and dismal dispensations, to usher in bright and pleasing [ones];
yea, and the more frightful that is which goes before, the more
comforting is that which follows after. Instances in abundance
might be given as to this, but at present let this suffice that is
here upon the paper before us; namely, the state of the witnesses,
with their glorious resurrection.

FIFTH SIGN.

Fifthly, Another sign of the approach of the ruin of Antichrist,
will be this: The great joy that will be in her, and among her
disciples, when they shall see that the witnesses are slain, and
lie dead upon the spot: 'And they that dwell upon the earth shall
rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to
another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on
the earth' (Rev 11:10). Babylon has been always a merry city, and
her disciples merry men; but the poor church of Christ has been
solitary, and as a wife forsaken; her tears upon her cheeks bear
her witness, and so doth her sackcloth-weed.

Hence our Babylon, under the name of Nineveh, is called, 'the
rejoicing city' (Zeph 2:15). Only her joy is distinguished from
that which is the joy of God's people, by these two things.

First, Either she rejoiceth in outward and carnal glory, or else
in the ruin of the church of God. This last, to wit, the supposed
ruin of the church of God, is that which will be now the cause of
her glorying. And this is the joy that God complaineth of, and for
the which he said that he would punish Babylon: 'Chaldea shall be
a spoil: All that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord.
Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of
mine heritage,' &c. (Jer 50:10,11). The joy therefore of Babylon,
Antichrist; the joy that she shall conceive in her heart upon the
slaughter of the witnesses, is a sure sign of her unavoidable ruin
and destruction. These two prophets tormented her; they were to
Babylon as Mordecai was to Haman, a continual plague and eye-sore:
As also was David to the wretched Saul: But now they are overcome,
now they are killed; now she rejoiceth, and maketh merry. And this
her joy was of old prefigured by them that in her spirit have gone
before her: As, First, When the Philistines had, as they thought,
for ever overcome Samson, that Nazarite of God, how joyful were
they of the victory! 'Then the lords of the Philistines gathered
them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god,
and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our
enemy into our hand. And when the people saw him, [saw him in chains]
They praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into
our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew
many of us' (Judg 16:23,24). Poor Samson! While thou hadst thy
locks, thy liberty, and thine eyes, thou didst shake the pillar
that did bear up their kingdom! But now they have conquered thee,
how great is their joy! How great is their joy, and how near their
downfall! This therefore is a joy that is like that we have under
consideration, to wit, the joy of them that dwell upon the earth;
for that the witnesses that did bear up the name of God in the
world, were overcome and killed.

Secondly, Like to this, is that which you read of in the first
book of Samuel, concerning the men that had burnt David's Ziklag.
Ziklag was poor David's place of safety; nor had he any else but
that under the whole heaven: But the children of the east came upon
it, and took it; set it on fire, and carried thence all David's
substance, with his wives and his children. (Very ill done to a
man in affliction; to a man that went always in fear of his life,
because of the rage of his master Saul.) But how were they that had
got the victory? Oh! joyful, and glad, and merry at heart at the
thoughts of the richness of the booty? 'Behold, they were spread
abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because
of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the
Philistines (from Ziklag) and out of the land of Judah' (1 Sam
30:16). Here again you find a joy and merriment like these that
we have under consideration, and that upon such like accounts.
Nothing pleases the wicked more, than to see the godly go down the
wind; for their words, and lives, and actions are a plague and a
torment to them: As 'tis said of these two prophets, 'They tormented
them that dwelt on the earth.'

Thirdly, While the church of God lay dead in Babylon, and as bones
exceeding dry; what a trampling upon them was there by Belshazzar
a little before his death! He called for his golden and silver
vessels that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple
of God that was at Jerusalem, (those holy vessels once dedicated
to the worship and service of God) that his princes, his wives
and his concubines might drink therein. An high affront to heaven:
'They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of
brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone' (Dan 5:4). And all to shew
what a conquest, as he thought, he had got over the God of heaven,
and over his people that dwelt in Jerusalem, and over his ordinances
and vessels used in his worship and service: Yea, this he did
with such joy that was not usual, as is intimated by his doing of
it before 'a thousand of his lords,' and that till he had drank
himself drunken. But all this while, as was hinted before, the
church of God, as it were, lay dead at his feet; or as the phrase
is, 'as bones exceeding dry.' This too will be the joy of the
beast and his followers in the latter days; they will make war
with the witnesses; they shall overcome them, and kill them; and
when that is done, they shall rejoice over them, and make merry.
But as Belshazzar soon after this, saw the handwriting that made
his knees knock together; and as he lived not to see the light of
another day; so 'twill be with the beast and his followers; the
next news that we hear upon this mirth and jollity, is, the tenth
part of his kingdom falls, and so on till the whole is ruined.

Thirdly, Moab also, in the day that Israel was taken captive by
their enemies, could not forbear but skip for joy, so glad was he
in his heart thereat. But what saith the jealous Lord? 'Make ye
him drunken: for he magnified himself against the Lord: Moab also
shall--be in derision: For was not Israel (saith God) a derision
unto thee? was he found among thieves? for since thou spakest of
him, thou skippedst for joy' (Jer 48:26,27). Of all things, God
cannot away with this: For when the wicked would rejoice that they
have been suffered to make havoc of the church of God, they deny
the wisdom and power by which they were permitted to do this,
and offer sacrifice to their own net and drag (Hab 1:16); which
provoketh the holiness of Israel: 'Shall the axe boast itself
against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself
against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself
against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up
itself, as if it were no wood.' But what follows? Why, burning
and consuming of soul and body of them that do such a thing (Isa
10:15-18). And this text I the rather bring, because 'tis to be
the portion of Antichrist.

And therefore let this be a caution to the men that wonder after
the beast, to caution them to repentance, for he will assuredly go
into perdition. What! shall the witnesses of God be killed! Shall
the beast stand glorying over them while they are dead, with his
feet in their neck? and shall none be angry at it? Let them that
love themselves look to themselves: God will be concerned, and will
assuredly for this quickly put a period to the kingdom and reign
of Antichrist (Jer 50:13).

And although this glorying mistress of iniquity, this Antichrist
and Babylon, may say that her power is the hammer of the whole
earth; yet God will cut him in sunder, and break him in pieces
with his bout-hammers,13 with the kings14 of the earth, that he
will use to do this work withal; that is, when this last sign is
fulfilled: I call it the last sign; I find none that doth intervene
betwixt the slaying of the witnesses, and the beginnings of the
ruin of Antichrist but this.

But a little to comment upon their joy, as the Holy Ghost doth set
it forth. The cause of their joy we have touched already; which
was, for that they had slain their tormentors. For, as was shewed
you, the witnesses had been their tormentors: But when they shall
overcome them, and kill them, they rejoice, make merry, and send
gifts one to another.

This repeating, and repeating with aggravation, doth manifest, and
at that day their joy will be exceeding great: 'They shall rejoice,
and make merry,' &c. They shall rejoice over them, over their slain,
their enemies, their tormenting enemies. This joy therefore, is
a joy that flows from victory, from victory after a war that has
lasted a thousand two hundred and threescore years. They shall
rejoice, as they do that have a most potent, vexatious, and
tormenting enemy lying dead at their foot, and as those that ride
in triumph over them. They shall therefore rejoice as conquerors
used to do, who make the slaughters of their spoiled enemies the
trophy of their joy.

For the devil, that great deceiver of mankind, will so flush up
and bewitch the men that wonder after the beast, with the victory
that they shall get over the faithful witnesses for God and his
Son, that they will think ('twill never be day) that the victory is
so complete, so universal, so thorough, that the conquest must be
lasting. And from sense and reason they will have ground to think
so; for who now is left in the world any more to make head against
them? but here comes in that which will utterly spoil this joy;
these conquered, killed, dead men must come to life again, and
then what's become of their joy? 'And great fear fell upon them
which saw them' (Rev 11:11). Wherefore, this joy must fade and
vanish: But, I say, the followers of the beast will be far from
thinking so; for they will 'rejoice over them, make merry, and
send gifts one to another,' concluding that these tormentors shall
never torment them more. But Jacob's blessing upon his son Gad,
shall be fulfilled upon these witnesses: 'Gad [saith he] a troop
shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last' (Gen
49:19). So then these conquerors must not always rejoice, though
they will suppose they shall, and also make merry too.

'And make merry.' To make merry, is more than to rejoice. To rejoice,
doth shew the present act of the soul; but to make merry, is to
use the means as will keep this joy alive, and on foot. Joy is
one thing, and the continuance of it is another (1 Sam 25:36). Joy
may be begotten by a conceit, a thought; but it cannot be maintained
so; because deliberation will come in and spoil it (Esth 5:4), if
sufficient means is not used to continue it: wherefore he adds,
They rejoiced over them, 'And made merry.'

And there are five things that are usually made use of to keep up
wicked joy. 1. There is the merriment of music (Luke 15:25,32).
2. The merriment of feasting (Judg 19:6,9). 3. The merriment of
laughter (Eccl 10:19). 4. The merriment of fleshly solace (Jer
31:4). 5. Revenge upon a supposed enemy (2 Sam 13:28). So then,
by these five things we see what is the way that sinful joy is
maintained in the hearts of wicked men; and also by what means the
limbs and brats of Antichrist will keep up that joy that at first
will be conceived in their hearts at the thought that now they have
killed their tormentors. They shall have music. They shall have
feasting. They shall have laughter. They shall have fleshly solace.
And they shall have their fill, for the time, of revenge. Thus
therefore shall they rejoice over them, and make merry, all the
time of that little, short everlasting that they are to live in
the world.

'And make merry.' To make merry, to make wicked mirth, there must
be a continual fraternity, or brotherhood in iniquity, maintained
among them, and that where none may come to interrupt; and that
they will be capable of doing any where then, for that their
tormentors will be dead. Wickedness shall walk with open face
in those days; for then there will be none alive for God and his
ways; wherefore, the beast and his train may do what they will: now
will be the time for men to live carelessly and wantonly, and to
make their wantonness their joy, (after the manner of the Zidonians)
for there will be none to put them to shame.

'And shall send gifts one to another.' This is another token of
their gladness, and also a means to buoy them up still. And it will
be a sign that they have joined hand in hand to do this wickedness,
not dreaming of the punishment that must follow. This sending
of gifts to each other, and that after they have slain these two
prophets, doth also declare that they will be far from repentance,
for the commission of so great an offence. Nay, it signifies
further, that they were resolved, and determined to quench all
manner of convictions one in another, that might arise in their
hearts for the sin which they had committed: for a gift blinds
the eyes of the wise, and perverts the judgment of the righteous;
how much more then will it stifle and choke appearances of such
upon the spirits of wicked men! I question not at all but many
have been, by the favours and gifts of wicked men, drawn down into
the belly of hell.

Now what these gifts will be, either as to kind or quantity, that
I can say nothing to: but probably, whatever they will be, there
will be but little of their own cost in them. Victors and conquerors
do used to visit their friends with their spoils won in battle,
with the spoil of the enemies of their God (Ezra 10:7).

And this was David's way, after ha had recovered the loss that he
had sustained at the burning of his Ziklag; he sent to his friends
of what he had taken from his enemies, as token of victory: 'David
sent of the spoil (says the text) unto the elders of Judah, even
to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoils of
the enemies of the Lord' (1 Sam 30:26); And why may not those we
have now under consideration, do so to their god, and their friends
also? Spoiling is like to be one of the last of the mischiefs
that Antichrist shall do to the church of God in this world: And
methinks, since the beast will have power to overcome, and to
kill, he should also have power to take away (Dan 11:33): 'Hast
thou killed, and also taken possession?' said the prophet to wicked
Ahab.

However, whatever their gifts may be, and at whose cost soever
bought, 'tis a sign their hearts will be open, they shall send
gifts one to another: their merry days will then be come, and their
enemies will then be dead at their feet; wherefore, now they will
have nothing to do but to rejoice over them, and to make merry,
and to send gifts one to another.

Thus as to sense and reason, all shall be hush, all shall be quiet
and still: the followers of the Lamb shall be down; the followers
of the Beast be up, cry peace and safety, and shall be as secure as
an hard heart, false peace, and a deceitful devil can make them.
But behold! While they thus 'sing in the windows,' death is
straddling over the threshold! (Zeph 2:14). While they are crying
peace and safety, sudden destruction cometh: By that they have
well settled themselves at their table with Adonijah (1 Kings 1),
they shall hear it proclaimed with sound of trumpet, the witnesses
are risen again.

Now the Christians' pipes will go again, and surely the earth will
be rent with the sound of their shouts and acclamations, while they
cry with joyful sound, 'The kingdoms of this world are become the
kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for
ever and ever' (Rev 11:15).

But woe to the wicked, it shall be ill with them; for the Lord
Jesus will now begin to shew his jealousy, and to make known his
indignation towards those that have thus cruelly slain his prophets,
digged down his altars, and made such havoc of the afflicted
church of God (Isa 66:14). Now will he whet his glittering sword,
and his hand shall take hold on vengeance, that he may render
a recompence to his enemies, and repay them that hate him (Deu
32:41).

But this he will not do immediately by himself, but by such instruments
as have been spoken of before: of which more particularly to treat,
shall be that I shall next take in hand.

OF THE INSTRUMENTS THAT GOD WILL USE TO BRING ANTICHRIST TO HIS
RUIN.

Although I have hinted at this before, yet it may be convenient
briefly to touch it again. Antichrist, as I have told you, consisteth
of soul and body, and must be destroyed by such instruments as may
most properly be applied to each. Further, As to the soul, spirit
or life of Antichrist, and its destruction, of that we have also
spoken already: It remains then that now we discourse of the ruin
of his body and flesh.

I then take it, That the destruction of her flesh shall come by the
sword, as managed in the hands of kings, who are God's ministers
for the punishment of evil deeds, and the praise of them that do
well (Rom 13). Not that the church, even as a church, shall be
quite exempt and have therein no hand at all; for she, even as
such, shall with her faith and prayers help forward that destruction.

The church therefore, as a church, must use such weapons as are
proper to her as such; and the magistrate, as a magistrate, must
use such weapons as are proper to him as such. When the church
of Israel were prisoners in Babylon, they did not fight their way
through their foes, and the countries to Jerusalem; but waited
in their captivated state with patience, until the kings of the
Medes and Persians came to deliver them. Nor is it to be sleighted,
but to be thought on seriously, that before there was an Israelite
captive in Babylon, their deliverer Cyrus was prophesied of:
which Cyrus did afterwards come and take Babylon, and deliver the
captives, as it was foretold he should. He saith unto Cyrus, 'He
is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to
Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation
shall be laid' (Isa 44:28). And again, 'Thus saith the Lord to
his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden to subdue
nations before him, &c. I have raised him up in righteousness, and
I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall
let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of
Hosts' (Isa 45:1,13). And this accordingly he did, to wit, when
the time was come; as may be seen in those holy records where these
things are made mention of. Indeed, as I said, the church is not
excluded (2 Chron 36:2); she may, and ought, with her faith and
prayer, and holy life, to second this work of kings (Ezra 1:2,3).
Wherefore, when God speaks of bringing down the lofty city and of
laying it low in the dust by the church, he saith, they shall do
it by their feet, and with their steps: 'The foot shall tread it
down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy' (Isa
26:6).

By feet and steps, I understand the good lives of the children of
God: but now, when kings come to deal with her, as kings, they
serve her as Samuel served Agag, as a judge, 'cut her in pieces
with their swords': or as you have it elsewhere, 'They make her
desolate and naked; they eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.'
The sword will be put into their hands for this very purpose. Thus
therefore must their deliverance be begun.

It is also to be considered, That after these first kings of the
Medes and Persians had broken the yoke of the king of Babylon from
off the neck of the captive church, and had given her license
to go to her place to build her temple and city, and to sacrifice
there according to the law of their God, (as both in Ezra and
Nehemiah we read;) and when their work was hindered by under-officers,
or they endeavoured so to do, they pleaded the license that they
received to build and sacrifice by the decree of the first kings,
and so finished their deliverance: They went not on in headstrong
manner, as if they regarded neither king nor Caesar: 'But Zerubbabel,
and Joshua, and the rest of the chief of the fathers of Israel,
said unto them,' that sought to hinder their work, 'Ye have nothing
to do with us to build an house unto our God; but we ourselves
will build unto the Lord God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of
Persia hath commanded us' (Ezra 4:3). And as they said, so also
they did: 'The elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered
through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the
son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the
commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment
of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia' (Ezra 6:14).
Yea, they did not only accept of the kindness of kings, but did
acknowledge that kindness with thanksgiving, as a gift of the God
of heaven: for the kings had commanded and given leave to the Jews
to go to Jerusalem, to build their temple, and to do sacrifice
there, according to the counsel of the priests that were at
Jerusalem, and according to the law of God that they had in their
hand (Ezra 7:13,14). For Artaxerxes sent Ezra the priest to inquire
after the condition that Jerusalem and Judah was in, according to,
or by the law of God that was in his hand (verse 14). And he had
license also further to do with the king's silver and gold, which
he gave of the service of the house of the Lord, 'according to the
will, word or law of HIS God.' 'And thou, Ezra, [says the king]
after the wisdom of thy God, [that is, after his word] that is in
thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the
people that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of
thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. And whosoever will
not do the law of thy God, [that is, worship, and walk by the
rule of his testament,] and the law of the king, [that is, shall
refuse to give Ezra such things as by the king was appointed for
Ezra's help in the furthering of the worship of God, according to
the law of his God,] let judgment be executed speedily upon him
whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation
of goods, or to imprisonment' (Ezra 7:25,26). This was therefore
a wonderful gracious license that the king now gave to Ezra: he
imposed nothing upon him or the Jews in matters of religion and
worship, but left him and them wholly to the law, will, and word
of God, only he laid check upon wicked and ungodly people: that
if they did things contrary to the laws of Ezra's God, or did
sleight the king's law, as aforesaid, that then such penalties
and pains should be inflicted upon them.

To the same purpose was the decree of Cyrus, and that of Darius,
to put it in execution. Also the penalty enacted against such
offenders, was full as sharp and severe: 'Also I have made a
decree [said the king,] that whosoever shall alter this word, let
timber be pulled down from his house, and being set up, let him be
hanged thereon; and let his house be made a dunghill for this.--And
the God that hath caused his name to dwell there destroy all kings
and people, that shall put to their hand to alter and to destroy
this house of God which is at Jerusalem. I Darius have made a
decree; let it be done with speed' (Ezra 6:11,12).

Indeed, sometimes a stop was put to this work by the kings, and
the Jews were made to cease by force and power, (Ezra 4:23,24) the
which the good people did bear with patience (Ezra 4:11-21): also
they waited to see their God go before them among the kings, who
at length took away Artaxerxes, who for a time had put a stop to
the work, and brought in another, who gave leave that with speed
it should be set on foot again (Ezra 5).

The Jews did also in these vacancies, or times in the which
hindrances were put, carry it very tenderly and lovingly to those
kings that at present they were under, submitting of their bodies
and their goods to their will, and meekly endured the trial and
affliction, serving them with all faithfulness, watching to save
their lives from the hands of bloody men. Also when the king's laws,
and the law of their God, did at any time come in competition,
they would indeed adhere to, and do the law of their God; yet with
that tenderness to the king, his crown and dignity, that they could
at all times appeal to the righteous God about it (Dan 6:22). Nor
did they lose by so doing; yea, they prospered; for by this means
Mordecai was made a great man, and a saviour of his people (Esth
2:21-23) By this means also was Daniel made a great man, and
helpful to his brethren (Dan 5:29).

Kings, I say, must be the men that must down with Antichrist, and
they shall down with her in God's time.

God hath begun to draw the hearts of some of them from her
already, and he will set them, in time, against her round about.
If therefore they do not that work so fast as we would have them,
let us exercise patience and hope in God: 'tis a wonder that they
go so fast as they do, since the concerns of whole kingdoms lie
upon their shoulders, and that there are so many Sanballats and
Tobias's to flatter with them and misinform them concerning the
people that are delivered but in part. See what an ugly account
was given of Jerusalem by the enemies of the Jews, even then when
they were in the hands of their deliverers: 'Be it known unto the
king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us, are come unto
Jerusalem, building the rebellious and bad city, and have set up
the walls thereof, and joined the foundations.--Be it known now
unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set
up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and
so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings' (Ezra 4:12,13).
Oh! what a be it known, be it known, is here! But were not these
gentlemen more afraid of losing their own places and preferments,
than of the king's losing of his toll and custom? But the whole
was a lie, though it hindered the work for a time, and the patience
of the people, and their loyalty to the king, did conquer and
overcome all.

I speak the more to this, because, (as I have said) I believe that
by magistrates and powers we shall be delivered and kept from
Antichrist; and because God has already begun to do it by such,
by which also she shall be destroyed: and I have a few things to
present to good men, to be conversant in, in such a day as this.

Let the king have verily a place in your hearts, and with heart and
mouth give God thanks for him; he is a better saviour of us than
we may be aware of, and may have delivered us from more deaths
than we can tell how to think. We are bidden to 'give thanks to
God for all men, and in the first place, for kings, and all that
are in authority' (1 Tim 2:1,2).

Be not angry with them, no, not in thy thought; but consider, if
they go not on in the work of reformation so fast as thou wouldest
they should, the fault may be thine; know that thou also hast
thy cold and chill frames of heart, and sittest still when thou
shouldest be up and doing.

Pray for kings to the God of heaven, who has the hearts of kings
in his hand: and do it 'without wrath, and doubting'; without wrath,
because thy self is not perfect; and without doubting, because
God governeth them, and has promised to bring down Antichrist by
them.

Pray for the long life of the king.

Pray that God would always give wisdom and judgment to the king.

Pray that God would discover all plots and conspiracies against
his person and government.

Pray also that God would make him able to drive away all evil and
evil men from his presence; and that he may be a greater countenancer
than ever, of them that are holy and good, and wait and believe,
that God that has begun his quarrel with Babylon, Antichrist, the
mother of Antichrist, the whore; would in his own time, and in
his own way, bring her down by the means which he has appointed.

I do confess myself one of the old-fashion professors, that covet
'to fear God, and honour the king.' I also am for blessing of
them that curse me, for doing good to them that hate me, and for
praying for them that despitefully use me, and persecute me. And
have had more peace in the practice of these things, than all
the world are aware of. I only drop this, because I would shew my
brethren that I also am one of them; and to set them right that
have wrong thoughts of me, as to so weighty matters as these.15

Now these kings whose hearts God shall set to destroy Antichrist,
shall do it without those inward reluctancies that will accompany
inferior men: they shall be stript of all pity and compassion.
Hence they are compared to the mighty waves of the sea (Jer
51:42), which saith, when the wrecked and dying mariners cry out
for mercy for themselves, and for their children, I am a sea; 'I
travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up
young men, nor bring up virgins' (Isa 23:4,5): I have therefore no
pity for these, or any of them. Therefore they must be swallowed
up of this sea, and sink like a stone in the midst of these mighty
waters.

And thus much for the means by which God will destroy the body
and flesh of Antichrist.

OF THE CAUSES OF THE RUIN OF ANTICHRIST.

Although the causes of the ruin of Antichrist be to some conspicuous
enough, yet to some they may be otherwise; yea, and will to all
kings and people whose eyes shall be held, that they may not see
the judgment, in the reasonableness and equitableness thereof; and
these shall wail when they see 'the smoke of her--torment'; and
these shall cry, Alas! Alas! (Rev 18:10). Wherefore, for further
edification, as I have treated of the man of sin already; so will
I now, of the causes of his downfall. And,

FIRST CAUSE.

First, He must down, for that he hath usurped, and taken the name
and attributes of God upon himself: He hath said, 'I am God': He
hath set in the temple of God, 'shewing himself that he is God';
yea, and that in contempt and scorn of any other, 'exalting himself
above all that is called God, or that is worshiped' (2 Thess 2);
yea, hath cried down all gods but himself. Wherefore it must needs
be, that he be brought to judgment, that the truth of his saying
may be proved. And for this cause he is threatened, under the name
of the prince of Tyrus: 'Because thine heart is lifted up (saith
the Lord) and thou hast said, I am a god,--therefore I will bring
strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall
draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall
defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and
thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of
the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am
god? but thou shalt be a man, and no god, in the hand of him that
slayeth thee' (Eze 28:2,7-9).

If God will not give his name or glory to another, be sure he will
not be under another; but this to have, and thus to do, Antichrist
has attempted. But how? In that he has been so bold as to prescribe
and impose a worship besides, and without reverence of that which
God has prescribed and imposed: For to do this, is, to make one's
self a God. 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or
the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in
the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou
shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them': For he that
thus doth, is an idolater; and he that these things doth impose,
is one that shews himself a God. But this doth Antichrist do: And
'tis worth the noting, That God forbids not only images, but the
likeness of any thing; books, altars, fancies, imaginations, or
any thing in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, to bow down
to, or to make them a means to worship or come to God by, if he
has not commanded nor tolerated them in his holy word.

Thus saith the Lord: And, I am the Lord, is the stamp, the seal,
and sign of all true rules of worship; and therefore it is so often
repeated both in Moses, and in the prophets, where God commandeth
worship to be performed, and imposeth the means and methods of it.
Now this, Thus saith the Lord, Antichrist has rejected; and I am
the Lord, he hath assumed to himself: and therefore without the
law, the word and commandment, hath framed and imposed a worship,
exalting himself in the temple of God, although he is but the man
of sin, above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.

Nor is he in this his so foul a fact, without them that adore,
worship his image, and wonder after him; yea, he hath got by this
means almost the whole world to himself, who say, 'Who is like
unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?' (Rev 13:4).
And that they might shew their resolvedness to stand by him, they
receive his mark in their forehead, or in their hand; His mark;
that is, they either openly or seriously become his disciples,
and worship him according to the rules, methods, and ways that he
hath prescribed. Wherefore, these with him, are also to drink of
the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God: 'If any man worship
the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or
in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,
which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;
and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence
of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb' (Rev 14:9,10).

But, I say, for that Antichrist hath thus taken the place of God,
prescribed and imposed a worship as a God, got the world to worship
and wonder after him as after a God. Therefore shall he die the
death of the uncircumcised, both in the soul, spirit, body, or
flesh of Antichrist; therefore will God enlighten, and gather,
and set the kings and nations against him, that both he and his
may be buried, and have their dolesome withdrawing-rooms from the
world in the sides of the pit's mouth.

SECOND CAUSE.

Secondly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because he hath set himself
against the Son of God; against the Father, and against the Son.
He had a spite against the Son betimes, even then when he came
forth but in little bits, when he attempted to deny that he was
come in the flesh (1 John 4:1-4). But seeing he could make no
earnings of that, he hath changed his methods, and seeks to run
him out and down by other means and ways: because therefore he
hath set himself against the Son of God, the king, therefore he
must die. That he hath set himself against the Son of God, is also
evident; for he hath his name from thence: He is therefore called
Antichrist. That he hath set himself against him, is yet further
evident; for that he hath endeavoured to take from him his headship
over, and his offices for and in the church, which is his body.
He hath plainly endeavoured to be head, for that he hath striven
to take his wife from him, and to cause that she should be called
HIS: Yea, he hath endeavoured by all inventions to prostrate her
to his lusts, to deflower her, and to maker her an adulteress. He
has been worse than Pharaoh, who took Abraham's wife (Gen 12); and
worse than Abimelech, who lusted after Isaac's (Gen 26): Yea, worse
than Phalti, who run away with David's (1 Sam 25:44); forasmuch
as she is higher, beloved better, and cost more than did any
of these. Would it not be counted an high affront, for a base
inferior fellow, to call himself the head of the queen? Yet thus
has Antichrist done, and worse; he has called himself the head of
the universal church of God.

And as he has attempted to be head in his stead, so to be king,
priest, and prophet.

[1.] He has attempted to wrest his sceptre and kingdom from him,
in that he hath endeavoured to thrust himself into his throne,
which is the heart and conscience of his people. The heart and
conscience is that which Christ claimeth for his own proper and
peculiar seat: 'My son, give me thy heart.' 'That Christ may dwell
in your hearts by faith' (Eph 3:17). In this therefore the church
is not to be for another man, so will he be for her; but this
throne Antichrist has lusted for, attempted to take, and made war
with Christ and his church, because they would not yield up to
him this glorious throne of his, and therefore he must die.

[2.] He hath intruded upon the priestly office of Christ, hath
called himself high-priest; though the Lord hath said, 'Because
thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou
shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of
thy God, I will also forget thy children' (Hosea 4:6). But he will
make himself a priest; he hath invented sacrifices for the quick
and the dead: he hath put, as he presumes, merit and worth into
these sacrifices; he hath commanded that those that worship, should
have faith in, and expect benefit by these sacrifices, although
he offereth to his God nought else but the flesh of the hog, and
of the mouse, with the broth of his abominable things (Isa 66:17).
Many and sundry ways he hath set himself up to be high-priest,
though God knows no high-priest but one, though the church ought
to know no high-priest but one; yea, though no high-priest but
one can approach God's mercy-seat, to do for us the necessary and
desired work.

[3.] He hath intruded upon the prophetical office of Jesus Christ.
What else means his pretences to infallibility?16 And that too when
he imposes unwritten verities, abominable traditions, blasphemous
rites and ceremonies; and forbids or dispenseth with the holy
commands of God: Yea, when he enforceth these his Omrian statutes,
and doth impose the works of the house of Ahab (Micah 6:16), he
doth all in the name of the Lord Christ, when himself hath set
himself in his place, and in his room. This is mystery Babylon,
the mystery of iniquity: This is Antichrist's soul and body, and
as such, must be destroyed. But,

THIRD CAUSE.

Thirdly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because he hath blasphemed
against the Holy Ghost, and so set himself above the Father, the
Son, the Spirit; against ALL that is called God. The Holy Ghost
is that Spirit of truth that Christ has promised to give unto his
church, to help her in the understanding of his holy word, and to
enable her to believe, and walk humbly and holily before God and
man. The spirit of Antichrist is that spirit of error that hath
puffed up the false church into a conceit of herself, and unscriptural
worship; and that hath made this false church, which is his body,
to ascribe all the horrible things and acts thereof, to the wisdom,
guidance, directions or operations of the Holy Ghost: As,

1. In all her unscriptural councils, assemblies and convocations,
they blasphemously father what they do upon the Holy Ghost, and
make him the inventor and approver thereof.

2. She also blasphemeth the Holy Ghost, in accusing and condemning
the holy scriptures of insufficiency, for that she saith, though
it is a rule, yet but an imperfect one; one deficient, one that
is not able to make the man of God perfect in all things, without
the traditions, inventions, and blasphemous helps of antichristian
wisdom.

3. She hath also blasphemed the Holy Ghost, in that she hath set
up her own church-government, offices, officers and discipline:
None of all which is the church of Christ directed to by the wisdom
of the Spirit of God in his testament.

4. She hath also sinned against the Holy Ghost, in that she hath,
as it were, turned the Holy Ghost out of doors, in concluding that
he, without the works of the flesh, is not sufficient to govern
the hearts of worshippers, in the service and worship of God.

5. She hath also thus sinned, in that she hath wrought many lying
miracles in the face of the world, and imposed them upon her disciples
for the confirming of her errors and blasphemous opinions, to the
confronting of the true miracles wrought by the Holy Ghost; and
also to the concluding, that there was an insufficiency in those
that were true, to confirm the truth, without the addition of
hers; which she has wrought by the power of Satan, and the spirit
of delusion, only to confirm her lies.

6. She hath sinned against the Holy Ghost, in that she hath, with
Jeroboam the son of Nebat, striven against the judgments wherewith
God hath punished her; to call her back from her wicked way; and
persisted therein, to the effectual proving of herself to be the
lewd woman (2 Kings 13:4-7,23,24).

7. She hath sinned, by labouring to hide all her wickedness, by
lies, dissimulations, and filthy equivocations of her priests,
friars, Jesuits, &c. I say, her labouring to hide the wickedness
that she hath committed against kings, countries, nations, kingdoms
and people. She hath hid these things by the means or persons made
mention of before; as by the tail; for they indeed are the tail
of the beast, that cover his most filthy parts: The prophet that
speaketh lies, he is the tail (Isa 9:15). But,

FOURTH CAUSE.

Fourthly, Antichrist must be destroyed, for the horrid outrage,
and villainous murders that she hath committed upon the bodies of
the saints. For there is none, as to these things, for cruelty,
to be compared with the church of Antichrist, and her followers:
For upon whom hath not her cruelty been shewed; have they never so
little stood in her way, though never so innocently and honestly
by so doing, stood to the truth and verity of God? Yea, the
promoting of her own superstition, idolatry, and blasphemous rites
and ceremonies, have been so pursued by her, that she has waded
through a sea of innocent blood for the accomplishment thereof.

The poor church of God is a sensible bleeding witness of this, and
so has been for hundreds of years together; witness the chronicles
of all nations where she hath had to do; yea, and the sackcloth
and ashes, and tears, and widows, and fatherless children, and
their cries, of all which the holy word of God is a sufficient
confirmation; 'And in her,' when God shall come to make inquisition
for blood, 'will be found the blood of prophets and of saints,
and of all that were slain upon the earth' (Rev 18:24). And yet
has she such a whore's forehead, such a blindness in her judgment,
and such an hard and obdurate heart, that it is not possible
she should ever repent. Murders have been so natural to her, and
in them her hand has been so exercised, that it is now become
a custom, a trade, a pastime to her, to be either in the act, or
laying some foundation for murders: Witness those plots, designs
conspiracies, and frequent attempts that are, one or other of them,
continually on foot in the world for the commission of murders.

Nay, the text last mentioned seems to import, that blood is so
natural to her, that she sticketh not at any condition, sex, age,
or degree, so she may imbrue her hands in blood. In her was found
the blood of saints and prophets, and of all other carnal, natural,
ignorant, graceless men that have been slain upon the earth. It is
she that sets kings and kingdoms at variance: It is she that sets
parents and children at variance, by her abuse of the word of our
Lord and Christ. And besides, is it not easy, if we do but consider
those bloody massacres that have been committed by her hand,
both in France, Ireland, Piedmont, and in several places besides,
without wronging of her, to conclude, that the blood of thousands,
that have not known their right hand from their left in religion,
hath been shed, to quench, if it might have been, her insatiate
thirst after blood. Therefore, for these things shall she be
judged, as women that shed blood are judged; because she is an
adulteress, and blood is in her hands (Eze 23:45). She hath been
as a beast of prey: Nay, worse; for they do but kill and tear for
the hunger of themselves, and of their whelps: but she, to satisfy
her wanton and beastly lusts. 'They have cast lots for my people;
[saith God] and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl
for wine, that they might drink' (Joel 3:3): and therefore must
Antichrist be destroyed. Forbearance is no payment, God's patience
is not a sign that he forgetteth to take vengeance; but rather,
that he waiteth till his own are come out of her, and until
her iniquity is filled up: For then he will execute the judgment
written, and will remember, as has been said, the Babylonians,
and all their ways. 17

FIFTH CAUSE.

Fifthly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because she hath put out
of order, and confounded the rule and government that God has set
up in the world. I say, she has put it out of order, and confounded
it in all places where she rules; so that it cannot accomplish
the design of him that ordained it, To wit, To be a terror to evil
works, and a praise to them that do well. Wherefore we read, That
those horns or kings where Mystery Babylon sitteth, are upon the
heads of that beast that carrieth her, which beast is her protector.
Magistracy is God's ordinance, appointed for the good of society,
and for the peace and safety of those that are good. But this
Antichrist has, where she rules, put all out of order; and no
wonder, for she has bepuddled the word of God; no wonder, then,
I say, if the foundations of the world be out of course. 'Tis she
that hath turned the sword of the magistrate against those that
keep God's law: 'Tis she that has made it the ruin of the good and
virtuous, and a protection to the vile and base. Wherefore, when
the Holy Ghost tells us, that the time is coming in which God will
count with the bloody-minded, for the murders that they have
committed; he in a manner doth quite excuse the magistrate, saying,
'Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the
prey departeth not: The noise of a whip, and the noise of the
rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the
jumping chariots. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword,
and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and
a great number of carcases; and there is no end of their corpses;
they stumble upon their corpses' (Nahum 3:1-3). But what is the
cause of all this slaying, and the reason of this abundance of
corpses? Why, it is because of the unsatiable thirst of the bloody
city after blood: and, 'Because of the multitude of the whoredoms
of the well-favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that
selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her
witchcrafts' (verse 4). But doth this bloody city spill this blood
by herself simply, as she is the adulterated whore? No, this church
has found out a trick; that is to say, to quarrel with Christ in
his members; and to persuade the powers where she rules to set
ensnaring laws to catch them, and to execute the same upon them.

Thus when the synagogue of Satan, of old, had taken Christ, and
accused him, they made Pontius Pilate to condemn and hang him.
But God has begun to shew to some of the kings this wickedness,
and has prevailed with them to PROTEST against her. And in the
mean time, for those that are yet in the bed of love with her,
the Holy Ghost doth, in the text last mentioned, and in Revelation
18:24 much excuse them for the blood that they have shed, and for
the injuries that they have done to his people; because they have
not done it of their mere inclinations, nor in the prosecution of
their office, but through the whoredoms and witchcrafts of this
well-favoured harlot, who hath with false doctrines, false promises,
and causeless curses, prevailed on them to do it. And they have
done it, rather of fear than favour. Some indeed have more doted
upon her beauty, and have more thoroughly been devoted to her
service: But they also had not that aptness to do so of themselves,
but have been forced to it by the power of her enchantments:
Therefore, I say, the main guilt shall be laid at her door, for
that she in chief has deserved it. 'Son of man [says God] take
up a lamentation for the princes of Israel.' Why? Because their
mother, the church, was at that time adulterated, and become
a lioness, had lain down with the heathen, and so brought forth
young lions, that is, rulers: 'And she brought up one of her
whelps: it became a young lion, and it learned to catch the prey;
it devoured men' (Eze 19:1-3). It learnt, It learnt: But of who
but of its dam, or of the lioness to whom she had put it to learn
to do such things? Therefore they are to be lamented and pitied,
rather than condemned, and their mother made to bear the blame.
Wherefore it follows, 'She was plucked up in fury, she was cast down
to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong
rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them. And now
she is planted in the wilderness, (in the provinces of Babylon,)
in a dry and thirsty ground. And fire is gone out of a rod of her
branches, which hath devoured her fruit, so that he hath no strong
rod to be a sceptre to rule. This is a lamentation, and shall be
for a lamentation' (Eze 19:12-14).

SIXTH CAUSE.

Sixthly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because of her exceeding
covetousness. Religion, such as it is, is the thing pretended to:
But the great things of this world, are the things really intended
by her in all her seeming self-denials and devotions. And for this
covetousness also it is that this destruction is to fall upon her:
'Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, (to
his church) that he may set his nest on high' (Hab 2:9); (for he
could not do the one, before he had obtained the other:) for then
indeed they began to be high, when they had so inveigled Constantine,
that he bestowed upon them much riches and honour; and then it was
cried by an angel, and the cry was heard in the city, Constantinople!
'Woe! woe! woe! this day is venom poured into the church of God!'
(as both my Lord Cobham and Mr. Fox witness in the book of Acts
and Monuments).18

Nor has any generation since the world began, been so insatiably
greedy of gain, as these poor people have been: They have got
kingdoms, they have got crowns, they have got,--What have they
not got? They have got everything but grace and pardon. Did I say
before, that religion is their pretence? Doth not the whole course
of their way declare it to their face? Every one of them, from
the least even to the greatest, is given to covetousness, from the
prophet even to the priest, every one dealeth falsely (Jer 6:13,
8:10): Money, money, as the peddlar cries,19 broken or whole, is
the sinews of their religion: And it is for that they set kingdoms,
crowns, principalities, places, preferments, sacraments, pardons,
prayers, indulgences, liberty; yea, and souls and bodies of men,
women and children, to sale. Yea, it is for this that they have
invented so many places, offices, names, titles, orders, vows,
&c. It is to get money, to rob countries, that they may make their
nests on high. And indeed they have done it, to the amazement of
all the world. They are clambered up above kings and princes, and
emperors:20 They wear the triple-crown: They have made kings bow
at their feet, and emperors, stand barefoot at their gates: They
have kicked the crowns of princes from their heads, and set them
on again with their toes.21 Thus their covetousness has set them
high, even above the suns, moons and stars of this world: but to
what end? That they may be cast down to hell.

SEVENTH CAUSE.

Seventhly, Antichrist must be destroyed, because he standeth in
the way of the setting up of the kingdom of Christ in the world.
Many princes were in Edom before there was a king in Israel; and
Christ has suffered Antichrist to set up before him. And he standeth
in his way, and has so overspread the world in all places, with
that which is directly contrary to him, that he cannot set up his
kingdom, until that which is Antichrist's is tumbled down to the
ground; even as a man whose ground is full of thorns, and briars,
and weeds, cannot sow in expectation of a crop, until he hath
removed them. And these seeds has Antichrist sown where the kingdom
of Christ should stand: 'Upon the land of my people shall come up
thorns and briars; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous
city: Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the
city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for
ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks, [this is to happen
to the church of God,] Until the Spirit be poured upon us from
on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful
field be counted for a forest' (Isa 32:13-15). And the antichristian
synagogue be turned into a wilderness.

When God came from Egypt with his people, to set up his kingdom
in Canaan, he cast out the heathen before them in order thereunto;
'Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the
heathen, and planted it' (Psa 80:8). Wherefore, Antichrist must
be removed and destroyed for this: For Antichrist is in flat
opposition to Christ, as Tibni was to Omri (1 Kings 16:21,22):
Wherefore Antichrist must die. The reason is, because Christ's
kingdom shall be peaceable, without molestation; and glorious,
without the fumes and fogs of antichristian darkness: Because also,
as the world hath seen the manner of the reign of Antichrist, and
how tyrannical and outrageous a kingdom his is: so they shall see
the reign of Christ, by his word and spirit in his people, how
peaceable, how fruitful in blessedness and prosperity his kingdom
is. And hence it is that God purposeth to bury Antichrist, before
he sets 'glory in the land of the living' (Eze 26:20,21). As
also you read in the book of Revelations; for there you find the
kingdom of Antichrist was destroyed before the new Jerusalem was
set up. When men intend to build a new house, if in the place
where the old one stood, they first pull down the old one, raze
the foundation, and then they begin their new. Now God, as I said,
will have his primitive church-state set up in this world, (even
where Antichrist has set up his;) wherefore, in order to this,
Antichrist must be pulled down, down stick and stone; and then
they that live to see it, will behold the new Jerusalem come down
from heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband.

New wine is not put into old bottles, nor a new piece into an old
garment; nor shall any of the old anti-scriptural ordinances,
ceremonies, rites, or vessels of the man of sin, be made use of,
or accounted anything worth, in this day of the kingdom of Jesus
Christ. And thus I have shewed you something of Antichrist, of
his ruin, and of the manner and signs of the approach thereof;
together with the means and causes of his ruin. All which I leave
to the judgment of the godly, and beg their instruction where
they see me to be out; and shall conclude, after a short word of
application.

First, Must Antichrist be destroyed? Then this informs us, that
a time is coming wherein there shall be no Antichrist to afflict
God's church any more. 'Tis Antichrist, antichristians, and
antichristianism, that is the cause of the troubles of Christians,
for being Christians. And therefore 'tis from the consideration of
this that it is said, men 'shall beat their swords into plough-shares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks,' and that they 'shall learn
war no more' (Isa 2:4): Yea it is from the consideration of this,
that it is said the child shall play with venomous and destroying
beasts, and that a little child shall lead the wolf, the leopard,
and the young lion, and that the weaned child shall put his hand
into the cockatrice's den, and catch no hurt thereby (Isa 11:6-9).
For as was said before, 'tis through the instigation of this
spirit of error, that the governors of the world have heretofore
done hurt to Zion, and I say now again, all things shall turn to
their right course, and occupy their places, as do the bodies in
the higher orbs.

Secondly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed, and must she have an
end? Then this gives us to understand, that a day is coming when
Antichrist shall be unknown, not seen, nor felt by the church of
God. There are men to be born who shall not know Antichrist, but
as they read in the word that such a thing has been. These shall
talk of her, as Israel's childrens' children were to talk of
Pharaoh, of his cruelty; of his tasks, of his pride, of the Red
Sea, and how he was drowned there: They shall talk of them, as of
those that have been long dead; as of those who for their horrible
wickedness, are laid in the pit's mouth. This will be some of
that sweet chat that the saints shall, at their spare hours, have
in time to come. When God has pulled this dragon out of the sea,
this leviathan out of his river, and cast his dead carcase upon
the open field, then shall those whose ancestors have been put
into terrors by him, come flocking to see the monster; and shall
rejoice for all the mercy. In that day, the church of God shall
say, 'O Lord I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me,
thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortest me.--In that day
shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his
doings among the people,' &c. (Isa 12:1,4). O how sweetly did David,
and the church in his day, sing of the ruins of the Egyptians,
and the deliverances of their fathers, which had been in times of
old! (Psa 68). to wit, what God did in Egypt, what he did at the
Red Sea; what he did to Sihon, to Og, and to the remnant of the
giants: How he divided the waters of Jordan, and gave the land of
Canaan in its fruitfulness among his people (Psa 105): How that
though Pharaoh and his horsemen and chariots were terrible then,
yet now there is nothing left but their souls, their feet, and
the palms of their hands; nothing but that which can do no hurt;
nothing but what may minister an occasion of joyful remembrance
of them (Psa 106; 132).

Thirdly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed? Then this calls aloud to
God's people to make haste to come out of her. 'Ho, ho,' says the
prophet: He cries out as if the people were asleep: 'Come forth,
and flee from the land of the north' (Zech 2:6). The people of
God in the latter days will want a heart to come out of her, with
that fear of her plagues as they should: Wherefore another says,
'Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins
and that ye receive not of her plagues' (Rev 18:4). When Israel
was carried into Babylon, 'twas not that they should dwell there
for ever: Though they were bid to build them houses, and beget
them children there. But when they had built, planted vineyards,
and got wives and children there, 'twas hard getting them from
thence again: For now they were as it were naturalized to the
country, and to the manners of it (Jer 29:4-7). But God will have
them out, (but they must not think to carry thence their houses
and vineyards on their backs,) or he will destroy them with those
destructions wherewith he hath threatened to destroy Babylon
itself. Flesh will hang behind, because it favoureth the things
of the flesh, plenty of which there is in that country: But they
that will live after the flesh must die. 'Wherefore come out from
among them, and be ye separate,--and touch not the unclean thing;
and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye
shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty' (2 Cor
6:17,18). But why (some may say) must we come out? I answer, because
God has temple-work to do, temple-worship to do, temple-sacrifices to
offer, and none of these things can by any means be done, but at
Jerusalem. But if you still object and say, 'The Lord has raised
us up prophets in Babylon,' and we will not come out; you must
not murmur if you feel what is to follow. And that such may know
upon what bottom they stand, let them read the 29th chapter of
Jeremiah 15-19.

Fourthly, Must Antichrist be destroyed? Then what mean they, who
were to appearance once come out, but now are going thither again?
If it cost Lot's wife dear for but looking back, shall not it cost
them much dearer, that are going back, that are gone back again?
and that, AFTER the angel had fled through the midst of heaven,
preaching the gospel to those that dwell on the earth? (Rev 14:6-10).
They that received the mark of the beast at first, before this
angel came forth, are when compared with these, excusable (Rev
13:16,17): Wherefore, they are not threatened with that smoking
wrath, as are these which are here under consideration.

You dread, that which is like to become of them that will be so
mad to run into an house, when fire is putting to the gunpowder
barrel, in order to its blowing up: Why thus do they, let their
pretended cause be what it will, that are returning again to Babel.
Are her plagues pleasant or easy to be borne? Or dost thou think
that God is at play with thee, and that he threateneth but in jest?
Her plagues are death, and mourning, and famine, and fire (Rev
18:8); are these things to be overlooked? And they that, as before
is hinted, shall receive the mark of the beast in their forehead,
or in their hand, and shall worship him, they, 'the same shall
drink of the wine of the wrath of God' (Rev 14:10): And will this
be a delightsome draught? Remember how ill God took it, that his
people of old, in their hearts, though but in their hearts, went
back again into Egypt. You may say, but I have friends, relations,
and concerns in Babylon. And, I answer, so had Lot in Sodom (Gen
19:14-16); but for all that, he must either quickly come out, or
run the hazard of being burned there with them. But methinks, a
people that belong to God, should be willing to leave all to follow
him: Besides, his presence is promised at Jerusalem, there also
will he accept thy offerings.

Fifthly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed? Then let them that love
God, his Son, and his Zion, cry to God, that it may be hastened
in its time. One of the songs of Zion is, that Babylon shall be
destroyed. The cries of the souls of them that were slain for the
witness of Jesus is, that Babylon may be counted with, and that
their blood may be revenged upon her. The promise is, that Babylon
shall be destroyed: And do we hold our tongues? The church of God
will not flourish as it should, until Babylon is destroyed: The
world will never be in its right wits, until Babylon is destroyed:
The kingdom of Christ will never be set up, in and by his church,
as it ought, and shall, until Antichrist is destroyed: There will
never be peace upon earth till Antichrist is destroyed: And God
has promised that there shall be peace and truth, and glory, when
Babylon is destroyed: And do we hold our peace? Besides, your
innocency in suffering; your honesty towards God, in your testimony
for his truth; the substantial ground which you have for the bottom
of your faith, as to things controverted betwixt Antichrist and
you, will never be manifested as it will then; and so consequently,
you never so brought out to the light, and your enemies never so
put to shame as then. 'Then shame shall cover her that said unto
thee, Where is the Lord thy God?' Wherefore, as I said, cry unto
the Lord, keep not silence, give him no rest, let him not alone,
until he has delivered his miserable people out of the mouth of
this lion, and from the paw of this bear.

Sixthly, Is Antichrist to be destroyed? Then let us live in the
expectation of it; and let this be one of our songs in the house
of our pilgrimage. God bids his people, while in Babylon, to let
Jerusalem come into their mind (Jer 51:50), and writes to them that
then were in her, to acquaint them that he remembered them still,
and would assuredly deliver them from that place and state. And
wherefore doth he thus, but to beget an expectation in them of
their salvation and deliverance? (Jer 29:13,14). The Lord is so
pleased with the faith and expectation of his people, as to this,
that they seldom are herein concerned as they should, but he steps
in with them, and warms their hearts. The reason is, because the
faith of God's people, as to the downfall of Babylon, stands upon
as sure a foundation as doth the salvation of their souls; and that
next to that, God is as much delighted in what he has purposed to
do against Babylon, as in anything else in the earth: And therefore,
if you consider it well, the great and glorious promises that are
to be fulfilled on earth, are to be fulfilled when Antichrist is
dead and buried: These bits are too good even for his children
to have, so long as this dog is by, lest he should snatch at the
crumbs thereof; wherefore they are reserved until he is gone: For
thus saith the Lord, 'That after seventy years be accomplished at
Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word towards you,
in causing you to return to this place: For I know the thoughts
that I think toward you, saith the Lord; thoughts of peace, and
not of evil, to give you an expected end.' This is in Jeremiah
the 29th chapter, verses 10, 11 and in the 31st chapter he adds,
'Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and
shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and
for wine, and for oil, and of the young of the flock and of the
herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall
not sorrow any more at all. Then shall the virgin rejoice in the
dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their
mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice
from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priests
with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness,
saith the Lord' (verse 12-14). Again, in the 32nd chapter, still
speaking of the same thing, he saith, 'Yea, I will rejoice over
them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly
with my whole heart and with my whole soul' (verse 41).

I conclude this with that which I find in the 33rd chapter: 'And
I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have
sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby
they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honour before
all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that
I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble, for all the goodness
and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it' (verse 8,9).

Seventhly, Must Antichrist be destroyed? Then this should make us
glad, when we see the signs of his fall presenting themselves to
our view. Indeed, the signs of his fall, or those that forerun
it, are terrible, and amazing to behold. But what of that, since
the wrinkles that are in their faces threaten not us but them?
A man is angry, and will punish; yea, and whets his sword, makes
his rod, and he speaks not a word, but blood, blood, is in it.
Indeed, this should make them that are concerned in this anger,
be afraid; (but the judgment is, they are fast asleep,) but what
is in all this of terror to them, for the pleading whose cause he
is so angry with the other? Nothing whereat the innocent should
be afraid. Cold blasts in November are not received with that
gentleness as are colder in March and April; for that these last
cold ones are but the farewell notes of a piercing winter; they also
bring with them the signs and tokens of a comfortable summer. Why,
the church is now at the rising of the year; let then the blasts
at present, or to come, be what they will, Antichrist is assuredly
drawing towards his downfall: And though the devil, knowing what
is to be done to him, and to his kingdom, shall so blind his
disciples, and fright the godly, do something like it upon the
church of Christ; yet we should look through these paper-winkers,22
and espy in all this, that fear, yea, certain terrible judgments
are following of him at the heels, by which not only the soul,
spirit, and life of Antichrist, but the body thereof; yea, body,
and soul, and head, are quickly to go down thither; from whence
they, as such, shall not arise again. Amen.


FOOTNOTES:


1 'Paper-winkers,' in every edition, except the first, which was
from the author's manuscript, has been altered to 'paper-windows.'
Bunyan's allusion is to the winkers, called by many 'blinkers,'
put by the side of a horse's eyes, to keep him under the complete
control of his driver--and by 'paper-winkers' the flimsy attempt
of Antichrist to hoodwink mankind by printed legends, miracles,
and absurd assumptions--it is one of the almost innumerable sparks
of wit, which render all the writings of Bunyan so entertaining
and strikingly instructive.--Ed.

2 The absurd act to compel uniformity in modes of worship, (14)
Charles II, had then recently passed; and when this treatise was
written, it desolated the country. This paved the way for the
glorious Revolution. The wicked fell into the pit which they had
dug for the righteous; the hopes of the Papists were crushed;
toleration to worship God was established. Let us follow Bunyan's
example, and attribute these mercies to a gracious God.--Ed.

3 When seven members of the first protesting church in London were
burned, a proclamation was made that no one should pray for them,
speak to them, nor once say, 'God help them.' But the church
pressed through the officers,--embraced and prayed for and with the
martyrs; and all the people with one consent said, Amen; to the
astonishment of the officers. And so these godly martyrs, praying
and praising God, sweetly ended their lives in the flames at
Smithfield.--Clarke's Martyrology, p. 500 and 516.--Ed.

4 Christian, read in these words your duty. Bunyan felt the tusks
of the wild boar, even to the peril of his life. He bore with
resignation all his sufferings, and was blest. Pity those whose
souls are under the yoke. Antichrist, if cruel to the body, is more
dangerous to the souls of men. Your prayers and exertions should
be redoubled until it is delivered up to the just judgment of the
Almighty. Come out, O Christian, and be separate from every system
which is stained with the blood and defiled with the soul-harrowing
groans of the saints of God.--Ed.

5 No man of the most refined education could have manifested
greater delicacy than Bunyan has in treating this subject, leaving
his reader to imagine whether the high-sounding titles, such as
'His Holiness,' 'God's Vicegerent upon earth,' which are given to
men, are consistent with the simplicity of the gospel or not. If
they are not, they belong to Antichrist, and will be consumed with
the stubble at the brightness of Christ's coming, when he shall
judge the earth.--Ed.

6 Antichristian statists of Antichrist. Those who weigh things to
place them in their relative order in the kingdom of Antichrist,
as the decree followed by the lions' den, &c.

7 The homilies read in the Church of England prior to the Reformation,
called 'The Festival,' contains the pith of these lying legends
and pretended miracles. Omitting the obscene parts, it ought to be
republished, to exhibit the absurdities of popery as it was then
seen in England.--Ed.

8 'The last stroke of the batter,' probably alludes to an engine
of war used by the ancients, called a battering-ram.--Ed.

9 Upon the Sunday sports being authorized, and pious ministers
persecuted for refusing to wear popish vestments in the reign of
James I, that godly Puritan, Mr. Carter, exclaimed, 'I have had
a longing desire to see or hear of the fall of Antichrist: but
I check myself. I shall go to heaven, and there news will come,
thick, thick, thick.'--Life by his Son, p. 13.

10 How remarkably has this come to pass since Bunyan's time; a slow
but sure progression. That darling ugly daughter, Intolerance, was
executed by the Act of Toleration. The impious Test by the repeal
of the Sacramental Test Act, &c., &c.--Ed.

11 There is great difficulty in estimating the weight of a talent.
Dr. Gill considers it about sixty pounds; this was the lesser
Roman talent. Michaelis estimates the Jewish talent at thirty-two
pounds and a half. The attic talent of gold used in Greece in
the time of Homer is estimated at less than an ounce. The safest
conclusion as to the weight of the hail-stones is, that they were
enormous, and fell with a velocity to crush all animals to instant
death.--Ed.

12 The reader must not misunderstand the words, 'The king kills her
body.' Bunyan does not in the slightest degree concede to kings or
nations a right to interfere with 'the soul' or religious principles
or practices--these are to be slain, if false, by persecution of
the preacher. Kings and nations will restore to the people the
immense property and revenue of which they have been plundered,
under the hollow knavish pretence of curing souls and forgiving
sins. THUS will human laws kill the body of Antichrist. Every
motive for professing to believe absurdities and contradictions
will be at an end, when neither rule nor honour, nor pelf is to
be gained by hypocrisy.--Ed.

13 This is a very expressive term, but better understood by Bunyan
the brazier than by many of his readers. It is well known to
those who live near a coppersmith's, when three or four athletic
men are keeping up, bout and bout, incessant blows upon a rivet,
until their object is accomplished.--Ed.

14 Protestant kings.

15 This Christian temper of Bunyan certainly saved him from much
suffering while under persecution. It probably saved his invaluable
life. But how deeply it increases the guilt of his persecutors,
to send such a man to a damp wretched prison, for more than twelve
years, because he dared not join in the worship established by
law; and after all this, to hear his prayers and good wishes to
his persecutors, ought to have cut them to the quick.--Ed.

16 Lord, what is man, to pretend to infallibility! His heart, be
he pope or pagan, is 'deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked.' Pope Sixtus V in 1589 issued his infallible Bible; but
the edition of Clement VIII, in 1592, differs much from that of
1589. Infallibles ought never to differ with each other; but how
often it has happened.--Ed.

17 These bloody massacres, to which Bunyan here alludes, were
attended with atrocities at which nature shudders. In France,
under a Bourbon and a Guise, the murder of hundreds of thousands
of pious men and women, with helpless infants, threw down every
barrier to the spread of infidelity, and a frightful reaction took
place at the Revolution. In Ireland, under a Stuart and a Bourbon,
still more frightful atrocities were perpetrated, and which were
severely punished by Cromwell and his Roundheads. Under a second
Stuart, awful wholesale murders were again committed, and punished
by William III; and the voice of the blood that was shed by
Antichrist, and the voices of people enslaved by prejudice, and
vindictive, ferocious enmity--these voices cry for vengeance, and
desolate that unhappy country.--Ed.

18 In the first examination of Lord Cobham (Fox, vi p. 732, edit.
1632) the gallant knight was asked by his bitter persecutor, what
he meant by 'the venom shed over the church'; his reply was, 'Your
possession and lordships.' For then cried an angel in the air--'Wo!
Wo! Wo! this day is venom shed into the church of God.--Rome is
the very nest of Antichrist--prelates, priests and monks are the
body; and these pild [bald, but query, pillaging] friars are the
tail, which covereth his most filthy part.' How peaceful and blessed
will be the church when ALL her ministers can glory with Paul,
in Acts 20:33,34.--Ed. 19 The principal cry of the traveling
peddlars was for broken or light money, to exchange for their
wares: now obsolete.--Ed.

20 Such has been the tendency of the antichristian church in
all ages; witness the cases of the Emperor Henry IV, Henry II of
England, and many others. The spirit and precept of Christianity,
on the contrary, is, while fearing God, to honour the king; and
that we be subject to principalities and powers, Titus 3:1; see
also Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:1-7.--Ed.

21 See Fox's Martyr, folio, vol. i., last leaf.--Ed.

22 'Paper-winkers,' in every edition, except the first, which was
from the author's manuscript, has been altered to 'paper-windows.'
Bunyan's allusion is to the winkers, called by many 'blinkers,'
put by the side of a horse's eyes, to keep him under the complete
control of his driver--and by 'paper-winkers' the flimsy attempt
of Antichrist to hoodwink mankind by printed legends, miracles,
and absurd assumptions--it is one of the almost innumerable sparks
of wit, which render all the writings of Bunyan so entertaining
and strikingly instructive.--Ed.

***

THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, AND ETERNAL JUDGMENT:

OR, THE TRUTH OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODIES, BOTH OF GOOD AND
BAD AT THE LAST DAY: ASSERTED, AND PROVED BY GOD'S WORD.

ALSO, THE MANNER AND ORDER OF THEIR COMING FORTH OF THEIR GRAVES;
AS ALSO, WITH WHAT BODIES THEY DO ARISE. TOGETHER, WITH A DISCOURSE
OF THE LAST JUDGMENT, AND THE FINAL CONCLUSION OF THE WHOLE WORLD.

BY JOHN BUNYAN, A SERVANT OF THE LORD'S CHRIST.

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall
all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the
last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be
raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed"--(1 Cor 15:51,52).

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that
are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they
that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that
have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation"--(John 5:28,29).



ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR.

This very important treatise, judging from the style in which it is
written, was, probably, one of the first books composed by Bunyan.
The form in which it is prepared, with minute divisions to assist
the memory, and its colloquial language, indicate that it was first
intended for the pulpit and then enlarged to form a more complete
treatise; while the frequent recurrence of the words "I say," shew
the unpolished style in which he was in the habit of committing
his thoughts to paper, when he became an author.

A good copy of what appears to be the first edition, is in the
British Museum, a small 8vo, without date--and from this, collated
with the reprint by C. Doe in Bunyan's works, 1691, the present
edition is published. Doe, in his catalogue of all Mr. Bunyan's
books, appended to the Heavenly Footman, 1690, states that "The
resurrection of the Dead, and eternal Judgment by John Bunyan, a
servant of the Lord's Christ, was first published in 1665." I have
not been able to discover any subsequent edition in a separate
volume.

The resurrection of the body is a subject of universal and deep
importance. It defies our reasoning powers, while it exalts our
ideas of the divine omnipotence. With God, all things revealed
in his word are not only possible, but certain of accomplishment.
The bodies of the saints, which are a part of the Redeemer's
purchase will be raised in heavenly and wondrous perfection; like
to the Saviour's glorious body. That body, which being transfigured
"did shine as the sun, and his raiment became as the light." That
body which, after his resurrection, might be touched, but which
could appear and disappear to mortal eyes; in the room at Emmaus,
or in a closed room filled with his disciples; could be touched,
yet vanish away; could eat with them on the sea shore, and could
ascend to heaven from the mount. Thus it was foretold by the prophet
and reiterated by the apostle--"Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God
hath prepared for them that love him" (Isa 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9). Not
one atom of our dust can be lost; a bright, a glorious anticipation
to the saints; but how solemn and awful a thought to those who die
without hope. Among Christians it is common to think and talk of
the happiness of the spirits of the just made perfect; but alas,
how seldom do we think or speak of the perfect bliss of our
whole nature, body, soul, and spirit--incorruptible, undefiled,
glorified--every part equally the object of the Saviour's purchase
and of his care.

This treatise, which will be ever new, and ever important, was
peculiarly required in Bunyan's early days. Under the protectorate,
the minds of men, which had been kept in slavery, became suddenly
emancipated from human creeds and formularies of public worship.
The personal attention of every one was then directed to the
Bible--the Lord's day was observed, men were chosen as ministers
not from high connections, but from deep and humble piety. Tens
of thousands became happy in a personal knowledge of divine truth.
At such a period, it must have happened that some evil spirits
would exalt themselves, and that even some serious inquirers would
draw strange conclusions from a misconception of divine truth;
and dimly see "men as trees walking." Among these there appeared
teachers, who, unable to comprehend how that body, which had gone
to dust, or in some cases had been reduced by fire to its primary
elements, and dispersed to the winds or waves, could be again
produced. They revived an ancient error, That the new birth was
the only resurrection from death; and consequently, that to those
who were born again, the resurrection was passed. The individuals
who promulgated these opinions, do not appear to have been associated
together as a sect, or a church. The greater number were called
in derision "ranters," and some "quakers." It is very probable,
that this treatise was intended as an antidote to these delusions.
We must not infer from the opinions of a few unworthy individuals,
who justly deserved censure, that Bunyan meant to reflect upon the
Society of Friends. This treatise was printed in 1665: but it was
not until 1675 that the Quakers' rules of discipline were first
published, and they from that time as a sect have been, in a high
degree, conformable to the morality and heavenly influences of
the gospel. But even before this, Fox, Crisp, Penn, Barclay, and
others, who afterwards formed the Society of Friends, had declared
their full belief in this doctrine. "The resurrection of the just
and unjust--the last judgment--heaven and hell as future rewards--we
believe and confess." "We believe the holy manhood of Christ to be
in heavenly glory." "We acknowledge a resurrection in order to
eternal recompence, and rest contented with that body which it
shall please God to give us." "We do firmly believe that besides
the resurrection of the soul from the death of sin, to a life of
righteousness while here, there will be a resurrection of the dead
hereafter, and that we must all appear before the judgment seat
of Christ." Barclay, in his catechism, 1673, clearly asserts
Bunyan's own ideas of the resurrection. But in the face of these,
and a thousand similar declarations, the grossest calumnies were
asserted by a fanatic clergyman, Alexr. Ross, in his View of all
Religions:--"The Ranters are a sect of beasts that neither divide
the hoof, nor chew the cud; that is to say, very unclean ones.
They, like the Quakers, oppose forms and order (the form and order
of Common Prayer). To anatomize this monster: 1st, They hold that
God, Devils, Angels, Heaven, and Hell, are fictions. 2d, That
Moses, the Baptist, and Christ were impostors. 3d, That preaching
and praying is lying." 8vo., 1696, p. 273. And such wild slanders
were uttered occasionally against all dissenters, until a much
later period. Happily they are now better known, and the truths
of Christianity are more appreciated. I have been careful to guard
the reader upon this subject, lest it should be thought that Bunyan
had in any degree manifested the spirit of those, who even to the
present day misrepresent the opinions of the Quakers. This may
be occasioned by their distinguishing tenet--That the work of the
ministry is purely a labour of love, and ought not to be performed
for hire--derived from the command of Christ to his disciples,
"Freely ye have received, freely give." This, however, is no reason
that they should be, as to their general views of divine truth,
misrepresented and traduced.

Bunyan, at all times solemn and impressive, is peculiarly earnest
and searching in this treatise. The dead will arise involuntarily
and irresistibly--conscience uncontrolled, must testify the truth,
yea, all the truth to the condemnation of the soul and body,
unless cleansed from sin by faith in the Redeemer and the sacred
influences of the Holy Spirit. The books will be opened, and
every thought and word and action be seen inscribed in characters
legible to all. Every soul will be able to read and clearly to
understand those mysterious books--God's omniscient, his penetrating,
his universal sight of all things from the creation of the world
to the final consummation; and his perfect remembrance of all
that he saw--are one and the same. There is then no refuge, no
escape--the word depart impels obedience, and the sinner plunges
into eternal woe!! O that the living may lay these awful realities
to heart, and fly for refuge to the bosom of the Redeemer--he only
is able--he is willing to save to the uttermost all that come unto
God by him. And they who find in him a refuge from the storms of
life, shall hear his voice irresistibly impelling them to heaven,
"Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world."

O glorious hour! O blest abode! I shall be like and near my God! And
flesh and sin no more control The sacred pleasures of the soul.

May the divine blessing abundantly attend the reading of these
awful or joyful realities.

GEO. OFFOR.



PREFACE.

COURTEOUS READER,

Though this be a small treatise, yet it doth present thee with
things of the greatest and most weighty concernment, even with a
discourse of life and death to eternity: opening, and clearing,
by the scriptures of God, that the time is at hand, when, there
shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;
even of the bodies of both, from the graves where they are, or
shall be, at the approach of that day.

Thou hast also in these few lines, the order and manner of the
rising of these two sorts of people, wherein is shewed thee with
what body they shall then rise, as also their states and condition
at this day, with great clearness.

For here thou shalt see the truth, and manner of the terrible
judgment, the opening of the books, the examining of witnesses,
with a final conclusion upon good and bad. Which, I hope will be
profitable to thy soul that shall read it. For if thou art godly,
then here is that which will, through God's blessing, encourage
thee to go on in the faith of the truth of the gospel; but if thou
art ungodly, then here thou mayst meet with conviction: yea, and
that of what will be, without fail, thy end, at the end of the world:
whether thou continue in thy sins, or repent. If thou continue in
them, blackness, and darkness, and everlasting destruction; but
if thou repent, and believe the gospel, then light, and life, and
joy, and comfort, and glory, and happiness, and that to eternity.

Wherefore let me here beg these things at thy hand,

First, That thou take heed of that spirit of mockery that saith,
"Where is the promise of his coming?" (2 Peter 3:4,5).

Secondly, Take heed that thy heart be not overcharged with surfeiting
and drunkenness, and the cares of this life, and so that day come
upon thee unawares (Luke 21:34,35).

Thirdly, But be diligent in making thy calling and election sure;
that thou in the day, of which thou shalt read more in this book,
be not found without that glorious righteousness that will then
stand thee in stead, and present thee before his glorious presence,
with exceeding joy. To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus,
world without end. Amen.

JOHN BUNYAN.



OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.

"BUT THIS I CONFESS UNTO THEE, THAT AFTER THE WAY WHICH THEY CALL
HERESY, SO WORSHIP I THE GOD OF MY FATHERS, BELIEVING ALL THINGS
WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW AND IN THE PROPHETS: AND HAVE HOPE
TOWARD GOD, WHICH THEY THEMSELVES ALSO ALLOW, THAT THERE SHALL BE
A RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD, BOTH OF THE JUST AND UNJUST"--(Acts
24:14,15).

My discourse upon this text, will chiefly concern the resurrection
of the dead: wherefore to that I shall immediately apply myself,
not meddling with what else is couched in the words.

You see here, that Paul, being upon his arraignment, accused of
many things, by some that were violent for his blood; and being
licensed to speak for himself by the then heathen magistrate; he
doth in few words tell them, that as touching the crimes wherewith
they charged him, he was utterly faultless, only this he confessed,
that after that way which they call heresy, so he worshipped the
God of his fathers; believing all things that are written in the
law and the prophets, and that he had the same hope towards God,
which they themselves did allow, that there should be a resurrection
of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Whence note by the way, that a hypocritical people, will persecute
the power of those truths in others, which themselves in words
profess. I have hopes towards God, and that, such a hope which
themselves do allow, and yet I am this day, and that for this very
thing, persecuted by them.

But to come to my purpose, "There shall be a resurrection of
the dead," &c. By these words, the apostle sheweth us what was
the substance of his doctrine, to wit, that there should be "a
resurrection of the dead;" and by these words also, what was the great
argument with his soul, to carry him through these temptations,
afflictions, reproaches, and necessities he met with in this
world, even the doctrine of a resurrection. I have hope towards
God, saith he, and there is my mind fixed; for there shall be "a
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." The reason
why I cannot do what these Jews would have me; also why I cannot
live as do the Gentiles, it is, because I have in my soul, the faith
of the resurrection. This is the doctrine I say, which makes me
fear to offend, and that is as an undergirder to my soul, whereby
I am kept from destruction and confusion, under all the storms and
tempests I here go through. In a word, this is it that hath more
awe upon my conscience than all the laws of men, with all the
penalties they inflict. "And herein do I exercise myself, to have
always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men"
(verse 16).

Now here, seeing this doctrine of the resurrection of the dead hath
that power, both to bear up and to awe; both to encourage and to
keep within compass, the spirit and body of the people of God;
it will be requisite, and profitable for us, to inquire into the
true meaning and nature of this word, "the resurrection of the
dead."

And for the better compassing of this matter, I shall briefly
enquire,

First, What in this place is meant by the dead.

Secondly, What is meant by the resurrection.

Thirdly, Why the apostle doth here speak of the resurrection of the
dead as of a thing yet to come--"There shall be a resurrection of
the dead, both of the just and unjust."

First. The dead in scripture go under a five-fold consideration;
as,

1. Such as die a natural death, or as when a man ceaseth to be any
more in this world, as David, whom Peter tells us "is both dead
and buried, and his sepulchre is with us to this day" (Acts 2:29).

2. There is a people that are reckoned dead in trespasses and
sins, as those are, who never yet were translated from darkness
to light, and from the power of Satan to God. Such, I say, who
yet never felt the power of the Word and Spirit of God, to raise
them from that state, to walk with him in the regeneration; making
a life out of Christ, and his present benefits (Eph 2:1,2; John
5:25).

3. There is a death seizeth men often after some measure of light
received from God, and some profession of the gospel of Christ. These,
for the certainty of their damnation, are said to be dead--dead,
twice dead, and plucked up by the roots (Jude 12).

4. There is in scripture mention made of a death to sin, and the
lusts of the flesh; this death is the beginning of true life and
happiness, and is a certain forerunner of a share in Christ, and
with him in another world (Rom 6:6-8; 2 Tim 2:11).

5. Lastly, There is also in the word, a relation of eternal death.
This is the death that those are in, and swallowed up of, that
go out of this world Godless, Christless, and graceless; dying
in sin, and so under the curse of the dreadful God; who, I say,
because they have missed of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour in
this day of grace: are fallen into the gulf and jaws of eternal
death and misery, in the fire that never shall be quenched (Mark
9:43,44; Luke 16:23-26).

Now then, seeing there is death, or to be dead, taken under so many
considerations in the scripture; it is evident, that to be dead in
Christ, the text is not meant of them all: I then must distinguish,
and inquire which of these deaths it is, that here the apostle
did look for a resurrection from. (1.) then, It cannot be meant
a resurrection from eternal death, for from that there is no
redemption (Psa 49:8). (2.) Neither is it a resurrection from that
double death; for they that are in that, are past recovery also.
(3.) And as for those that are dead to sin, it is nonsense to say
there shall, or can be a resurrection from that: for that itself
is a resurrection; which resurrection also, the apostle had then
passed through: and also all the brethren, as he saith, You hath he
quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins (Col 2:12,13,20).
And again, "If ye then be risen with Christ" (Col 3:1), and again,
"Wherein also ye are risen with him, through the faith of the
operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (Col 2:12).
(4.) The dead therefore in this scripture, must be understood
of those that have departed this life, that have body and soul
separated each from the other; and so the resurrection, a resurrection
of the body out of the grave; as Daniel saith, "Many of them that
sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake" (Dan 12:2). And again,
"The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall
hear his voice, and shall come forth," &c. (John 5:28,29).

Second. [What is meant by the resurrection.] The resurrection of
the just, then, is the rising of the bodies of the just, and the
resurrection of the unjust, the rising of their bodies, at the
last judgment. This also is the meaning of that saying of Paul to
Agrippa, "I stand," saith he, "and am judged for the hope of the
promise made of God unto our fathers" (Acts 26:6), which promise
at first began to be fulfilled in the resurrection of the body
of Christ (Acts 13:32,33), and hath its accomplishment, when the
dead, small and great, are raised out of their graves. Wherefore,
though Paul saith in the 13th of the Acts, it is already fulfilled;
yet here he saith, he hopes it shall come. "Which promise," saith
he, "our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope
to come" (Acts 26:7). As God told Daniel, saying, "go thy way,
till the end be: for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot at the
end of the days" (Dan 12:13).

Christ is already risen, and therefore so far the promise is
fulfilled; but his saints are yet in their graves, and therefore
that part of the fulfilling of it is yet to come, as he saith,
"Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God
should raise the dead?" (Acts 26:8).

Again, That it is the resurrection of the dead bodies of both
saints and sinners that is here inserted, it is further evident;
because the apostle saith, it is the resurrection, that the very
Pharisees themselves allowed. I have hope towards God, saith he,
which themselves also allow; then what that hope is, he in the
next words sheweth, namely, that there shall be a resurrection of
the dead, &c. Now we know, that the Pharisees did not allow of a
resurrection from a state of nature, to a state of grace, which is
the same with the new birth; but did confidently allow and teach,
that they were the children of Abraham, according to the flesh.
Yea, when any of them began to adhere, or incline to Christ's
doctrine in some things, yet the doctrine of the new birth, or
of being raised from a state of nature, to a state of grace, they
would very much stick at; though in the meantime, they utterly were
against the doctrine of the Sadducees, which denied the resurrection
of the body (John 3:1-9; 8:51-56; Acts 23:6-8).

Further, the resurrection here spoken of, must needs be the
resurrection of the body, because it is called, "a resurrection of
the dead, both of the just and unjust"--that is, of both saints and
sinners, according to the saying of Christ, "The hour is coming,
in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and
shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection
of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of
damnation" (John 5:28,29).

Third. [The resurrection spoken of is a thing yet to come;] the
resurrection here mentioned, is a resurrection to come, not already
enjoyed, either by saints or sinners--"There shall be a resurrection
of the dead, both of the just and unjust." Now, I say, the
resurrection here being yet deferred by the just, and counted
also the resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust:
it must needs be the same resurrection that is spoken of by Job,
who saith, "So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be
no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep"
(Job 14:12).

Having thus, in few words, opened this scripture unto you, I shall
in the next place, for the further satisfaction of those that are
yet wavering, and for the refreshment of those that are strong
and steadfast, lay down before you, several undeniable scripture
demonstrations of the resurrection of the dead, both of the just,
and unjust.

FIRST, I shall first begin with,

THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST.

First, The just must arise, because Christ is risen from the dead.
Christ is the head of the just, and they are the members of his
body; and because of this union, therefore the just must arise.
This is the apostle's own argument--"If Christ," saith he, "be
preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that
there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection
of the dead, then is Christ not risen" (1 Cor 15:12,13). Now,
I say, the reason why the apostle thus argueth the resurrection
from the dead, by the resurrection of Christ, it is, because the
saints, of whose resurrection he here chiefly discourseth, are in
their bodies, as well as in their souls, the members of Christ;
"Know ye not," saith he, "that your bodies are the members of
Christ" (1 Cor 6:15). A very weighty argument; for if a good man
be a member of Christ, then he must either be raised out of his
grave, or else sin and death must have power over a member of
Christ. I say again, if this body be not raised, then also Christ
is not a complete conqueror over his enemies; forasmuch as death
and the grave have still power over his members. "The last enemy
that shall be destroyed is death" (1 Cor 15:26). Now, though Christ
in his own person hath a complete conquest over death, &c., yet
death hath still power over the bodies of all that are in their
graves: now, I say, Christ being considered with relation to his
members, then he hath not yet a complete conquest over death,
neither will he, until they every one be brought forth of their
graves; for then, and not till then, shall that saying be every
way fulfilled, "Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor 15:53,54).

Second, As there must be a resurrection of the just, because Christ
is their head, and they his members: so also, because the body
of the saints, as well as their soul, is the purchase of Christ's
blood. "Ye are bought with a price:" saith Paul; "therefore glorify
God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor
6:20). Christ will not lose the purchase of his blood. O death,
saith Christ, I will have them; O grave, I will make thee let them
go; I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem
them from death. I have bought them, and they shall be mine. "O
death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction"
(Hosea 13:14): I say, though the power of the grave be invincible,
and death be "the king of terrors" (Job 18:14), yet he who hath
the keys of hell and of death at his girdle (Rev 1:18), to him
belongeth the issues from death. "He that is our God is the God
of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death"
(Psa 68:20), and we, the price of his blood, shall be delivered.

Third, As the body is the member of Christ, and the price of his
blood: so it is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in us.
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost
which is in you,--and ye are not your own?" (1 Cor 6:19). The body
is no such ridiculous thing in the account of Christ as it was in
the account of the Sadducees. "The body is not for fornication,
but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body" (verse 13), and that
not only in this world, but that which is to come; wherefore he
saith, "God hath both raised up the Lord [Jesus,] and will also
raise us up by his own power"--that is, as he hath raised up the
body of Christ, so will he raise up ours also by Christ.

Fourth, The bodies of the just must arise again, because of that
similitude, that must be betwixt the body of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the bodies of the saints. "When he shall appear, we shall
be like him" (1 John 3:2). Now we have it abundantly manifest in
scripture, that the body of the Lord Jesus, was raised out of the
grave, caught up into heaven, and that it ever remaineth in the
holiest of all, a glorified body (Luke 24:3-7; 36-43; John 20:24-28;
Acts 1:2-11; 2:31; 17:30-32; Mark 16:6,7,19; Heb 7:24-26; 8:1-3;
10:12).

Now, I say, it would be very strange to me if Christ should be
raised, ascended, and glorified in that body; and yet that his
people should be with him, no otherwise than in their spirits;
especially, seeing that he in his resurrection, is said to be but
"the first-born from the dead, and the first-fruits of them that
sleep" (Col 1:18; 1 Cor 15:23). For we know, that a first-begotten
doth imply more sons, and that first-fruits do foreshew an
after-crop; wherefore we conclude, that "as in Adam all die, even
so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own
order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ's
at his coming" (1 Cor 15:22,23).

And hence it is that the scripture saith, He "shall change our vile
body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body" (Phil
3:21). And hence it is again, that the day of Christ is said to
be the day of the manifestation of the sons of God, and of the
redemption of our body (Rome 8:21-24), for then shall the saints
of God not only be, but appear as their Saviour, being delivered
from their graves, as he is from his, and glorified in their
bodies, as he is in his.

Fifth, There must be a resurrection of the body of the saints,
because the body, as well as the mind, hath been a deep sharer
in the afflictions that we meet with for the gospel's sake. Yea,
the body is ofttimes the greater sufferer, in all the calamities,
that for Christ's sake we here undergo; it is the body that feels
the stocks, the whip, hunger and cold, the fire and rack, and
a thousand calamities; it is the body in which we have the dying
marks of the Lord Jesus, "that the life also of Jesus might be
made manifest in our mortal1 flesh" (Gal 6:17; 2 Cor 4:11). God
is so just a God, and so merciful to his people, that though the
bodies of his saints should, through the malice of the enemy, be
never so dishonourably tortured, killed, and sown in the grave:
yet he will, as further will be shewn anon, raise it again in
incorruption, glory, and honour: as he saith also in another place,
that we who have continued with Christ in his temptations, that
have for his sake underwent the reproach and malice of the world,
to you, saith Christ. "I appoint a kingdom, as my Father hath
appointed unto me" (Luke 22:28,29). If we suffer, we shall also
reign with him (2 Tim 2:12): "and he that hateth his life in this
world shall keep it unto life eternal" (John 12:25). All this is
to be enjoyed, especially at the resurrection of the just. But,

Sixth, There must be a resurrection of the just, otherwise, there
will be the greatest disappointment on all sides that ever was,
since man had a being on the earth. A disappointment, I say,

1. Of the will of God--"And this is the Father's will which hath
sent me," saith Christ, "that of all which he hath given me I
should lose nothing, [not a dust,] but should raise it up again
at the last day" (John 6:39).

2. A disappointment of the power of God; for he that hath raised
up the Lord Jesus, doth also intend to raise us up by his power,
even our bodies; as Paul saith, "The body is not for fornication,
but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both
raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his power" (1
Cor 6:13,14).

3. If there should be no resurrection of the just, Christ also would
be wonderfully disappointed of the fruits of all his sufferings.
As I told you before, his people are the price of his blood, and
the members of his body, and he is now at the right hand of God,
"far above all principalities and powers, and every name that
is named," expecting till his enemies be made his footstool (Heb
1:13), and brought under the foot of the weakest saint; which will
not be, until the last enemy death is destroyed. We know that he
said, when he went away, that he would come again, and fetch all
his people to himself, even up into heaven, that where he is, there
we may be also (John 12:26; 14:1-3; 17:24). But, I say, how will
he be disappointed, if when he comes, the grave and death should
prevent and hinder him, and with its bars, keep down those, whom
he hath ransomed with his blood, from the power thereof.

4. If the bodies of the just arise [not] from the dead, then they
also will be disappointed. 'Tis true, the saints departed, have
far more fellowship and communion with God and the Lord Jesus,
than we have, or are not yet capable of having, they being in
paradise, and we in this world (Luke 23:43); but yet, I say for
all that, they are, though there, very much longing for the day
of the Lord's vengeance, which will be the day in which they will,
and must arise from the dead. This, I say, is the time that they
long for, when they cry under the altar, "How long, O Lord, holy
and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that
dwell on the earth?" (Rev 6:10,11). When they died, they died in
hope to "obtain a better resurrection" (Heb 11:35), and now they
are gone, they long till that day be come; till the day come, I
say, when the dead, even all the enemies of Christ, shall be judged;
for then will he give rewards to his servants the prophets, and
to his saints, and to all that fear his name, small and great (Rev
11:18).

5. If the just arise not, great disappointment also will be
to the saints yet alive in this world; for, notwithstanding they
have already received the first-fruits of the Spirit, yet they
wait, not only for more of that, but also for the resurrection,
redemption, and changing of this vile body. "For our conversation
is in heaven," saith Paul, "from whence also we look for the
Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body,
that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body" (Rom 8:20-23;
Phil 3:20,21). But now, I say, if the body riseth not, then how
can it be made like to the glorious body of Christ Jesus: yea,
what a sad disappointment, infatuation, and delusion, are those
poor creatures under, that look, and that by scripture warrant,
for such a thing? They look for good, but behold evil; they expect
to be delivered in their whole man from every enemy; but lo, both
death and the grave, their great enemies, do swallow them up for
ever. But, beloved, be not deceived. "The needy shall not always
be forgotten, the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever"
(Psa 9:18). Saith Christ, He that seeth the Son, and believeth on
him that sent him, hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up
at the last day (John 6:40).

6. If the just arise not out of their graves, then also is every
grace of God in our souls defeated; for though the spirit of
devotion can put forth a feigned show of holiness with the denial
of the resurrection, yet every grace of God in the elect doth
prompt them forward to live as becomes the gospel, by pointing
at this day; as, (1.) 'Tis this that faith looks at, according as
it is written, "I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also
believe, and therefore speak; knowing that he which raised up the
Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us
with you" (2 Cor 4:13,14). (2.) Hope looks at this. "We," saith
Paul, "which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves
groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the
redemption of our body"--that is, we expect this by hope; "but
hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth," or hath in
present possession, "why doth he yet hope for?" (Rom 8:23,24).
(3.) The grace of self-denial also worketh by this doctrine--"If
after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,
what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?" (1 Cor 15:32). As
who should say, Wherefore do I deny myself of those mercies and
privileges that the men of this world enjoy? Why do not I also,
as well as they, shun persecution for the cross of Christ? If the
dead rise not, what shall I be the better for all my trouble that
here I meet with for the gospel of Christ? (4.) Both zeal and
patience, with all other the graces of the Spirit of God in our
hearts, are much, yea, chiefly encouraged, animated, and supported
by this doctrine; as James saith, "Be patient, therefore, brethren,
unto the coming of the Lord," for then shall the dead be raised (1
Thess 4:16,17). "Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious
fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive
the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts;
for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (James 5:7,8).

Seventh, The doctrine of the resurrection of the just, must needs
be a certain truth of God, if we consider the devilish, and
satanical errors and absurdities that must unavoidably follow the
denial thereof; as, he that holdeth no resurrection of our body,
he denieth the resurrection of the body of Christ. This is the
Spirit's own doctrine--"For if the dead rise not, then is not
Christ raised" (1 Cor 15:16). He that denieth the resurrection
of the members, denieth the resurrection of the head; for seeing
the resurrection of the saints is proved by the resurrection of
Christ, he that doth deny the resurrection of the saints, must
needs deny the resurrection of Christ, that proves it. Now this
error, as it is in itself destructive to all Christian religion:
so it, like an adder, carrieth within its bowels, many other alike
devilish and filthy; as,

1. He that denieth the resurrection of the saints, he concludeth,
that to preach deliverance from sin and death, it is vain preaching;
for how can he be freed of sin, that is swallowed up for ever
of death and the grave? as he most certainly is, that is always
contained therein, as Paul saith, "If Christ be not risen," whose
resurrection is the ground of ours, "then is our preaching vain,
and your faith is also vain" (1 Cor 15:14), then we preach fables,
and you receive them for truth.

2. This error, casteth the lie in the face of God, of Christ,
and the Scriptures--"Yea, and we," saith Paul, "are found false
witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised
up Christ:--if so be that the dead rise not" (1 Cor 15:15).
Mark, before he said, Christ in his resurrection, doth prove our
resurrection; but now he saith, that our resurrection will prove
the truth of his; and indeed both are true; for as by Christ's
rising, ours is affirmed; so by ours, his is demonstrated.

3. The denial of the resurrection, it also damneth all those that
have departed this world in the faith of this doctrine. "If Christ
be not raised," (as if he is not, we rise not, then is not only)
your faith vain, ye are yet in your sins (that are alive,) but
"then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished"
(1 Cor 15:17,18).

4. He that denieth the resurrection of the just, he concludeth, that
the Christian is of all men the most miserable. Mark the words:
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men
most miserable" (1 Cor 15:19). First of all, men the most miserable,
because we let go present enjoyments for those that will never
come, "if the dead rise not." Of all men most miserable, because
our faith, our hope, our joy, and peace, are all but a lie, "if
the dead rise not." But you will say, he that giveth up himself
to God shall have comfort in this life. Ah! but "if the dead rise
not," all our comfort that now we think we have from God, will
then be found presumption and madness, because we believe, that
God hath so loved us, as to have us in his day, in body and soul,
to heaven: which will be nothing so, if the dead rise not. If in
this life only, we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most
miserable. Poor Christian! thou that lookest for the blessed hope
of the resurrection of the body, at the glorious appearing of the
great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, how wilt thou be deceived,
if the dead rise not! "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and
become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came
death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead" (1 Cor
15:20,21).

5. But again; he that denieth the resurrection of the dead, he
setteth open a flood-gate to all manner of impiety; he cutteth the
throat of a truly holy life, and layeth the reins upon the neck
of the most outrageous lusts; for if the dead rise not, let us
eat and drink; that is, do anything, though never so diabolical
and hellish; "let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die" (1 Cor
15:32), and there is an end of us; we shall not arise again, to
receive either evil or good.

6. To deny this resurrection, nay, if a man do but say, it is past
either with him or any Christian: his so saying tendeth directly
to the destruction and overthrow of the faith of them that hear
him; and is so far from being according to the doctrine of God,
that it eateth out good and wholesome doctrine even as cankers
eat the face and flesh of a man. How ill-favouredly do they look,
that have their nose and lips eaten off with the canker? Even so
badly doth the doctrine of no resurrection of the dead, look in
the eyes of God, Christ, saints, and scripture (2 Tim 2:18).

7. I conclude then, that to deny the resurrection of the bodies of
the just, it argueth,

(1.) Great ignorance of God, ignorant of his power to raise, ignorant
of his promise to raise, ignorant of his faithfulness to raise;
and that both to himself, Son, and saints, as I shewed before.
Therefore saith Paul to those that were thus deluded, "Awake to
righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God.
I speak this to your shame" (1 Cor 15:34). As if he had said, Do
you profess Christianity? and do you question the resurrection
of the body? Do you now know, that the resurrection of the body,
and glory to follow, is the very quintessence of the gospel of
Jesus Christ? Are you ignorant of the resurrection of the Lord
Jesus, and do you question the power and faithfulness of God,
both to his Son and his saints; because you say, there shall be
no resurrection of the dead? You are ignorant of God; of what he
can do, of what he will do, and of what he will by doing glorify
himself.

(2.) As it argueth very great ignorance of God's power, faithfulness,
&c., so it argueth gross ignorance of the tenor and current of
the scriptures; for "as touching the dead, that they rise: have
ye not read in the book of Moses [saith Christ] how in the bush,
God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God
of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but
the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err" (Mark 12:26,27).

To be the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is to be understood
of his being their God under a new covenant consideration; as he
saith, "I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Now,
thus he is not the God of the dead--that is, of those that perish,
whether they be angels or men (Heb 8:10,11; John 8:42; 1 John
3:8-10; Hosea 6:2; Col 3:4; Eph 1:4).

Now, I say, they that are the children of God, as Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob, they are counted the living under a threefold
consideration--(a.) In their Lord and head, and thus all the elect
may be said to live; for they are from eternity chosen in him, who
also is their life, though possibly many of them yet unconverted.
I say, yet Christ is their life, by the eternal purpose of God.
(b.) The children of the new covenant, do live both in their spirits
in glory, by open vision, and here by faith and the continual
communication of grace from Christ into their souls (Gal 2:20).
(c.) They live also with respect to their rising again; for God
"calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Rom 4:17).
To be born, dead, buried, risen, and ascended, are all present with
God, he liveth not by time, as we do--a thousand years to him are
but as the day that is past. And again, "One day is as a thousand
years" (2 Peter 3:8). Eternity, which is God himself, admitteth of
no first, second, and third; all things are naked and bare before
him, and present with him (Heb 4:13; Isa 46:9,10); all his live
unto him. There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the
just and unjust (Rom 8:29-34).

A resurrection--of what? Of that which is sown, or of that which
was never sown? If of that which is sown, then it must be either
of that nature that was sown, or else of the corruption that
cleaveth to it; but it is the nature, and not the corruption that
cleaveth unto it, that riseth again. And verily, the very term
"resurrection" is a forcible argument to prove the dead shall come
forth of their graves; for the Holy Ghost hath always spoken more
properly than to say, "There shall be a resurrection of the dead,
both of the just and unjust;" when yet neither the good nor the
bad shall come forth of their graves, but rather something else
to delude the world withal.

Having thus in few words, shewed you the truth of the resurrection
of the dead, I now come,

SECOND--To the manner of their rising.

THE MANNER OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE JUST.

And FIRST of the just.

The apostle, when he had in the fifteenth of the 1st of the
Corinthians proved the truth and certainty of the resurrection,
he descends to the discovery of the manner of it; and to the end,
he might remove those foolish scruples that attend the hearts of
the ignorant, he begins with one of their questions--"But some man
will say," saith he, "How are the dead raised up? and with what
body do they come?" (verse 35). To which he answereth,

First, By a similitude of seed, that is sown in the earth. In which
similitude, he inserteth three things--

1. That our reviving or rising, must be after death--"That which
thou sowest is not quickened except it die" (verse 36).

2. That at our rising, we shall not only revive and live, but
be changed into a far more glorious state than when we were sown.
"That which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall
be," &c. "But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him" (verse
38)--that is, he giveth the body more splendour, lustre, and beauty
at its resurrection. But,

3. Neither its quickening, not yet its transcendent splendour, shall
hinder it from being the same body--as to the nature of it--that
was sown in the earth; for as God giveth it a body, for honour
and splendour as it pleaseth him, so "to every seed his own body"
(verse 38).

And, indeed, this similitude by which he here reasoneth the manner of
the resurrection of the just, is very natural, and fitly suiteth
each particular; for, as to its burial--(1.) The corn of wheat
is first dead, and after sown and buried in the earth; and so is
the body of man. (2.) After the corn is thus dead and buried, then
it quickeneth and reviveth to life: so also shall it be with our
body; for after it is laid in the grave and buried, it shall then
quicken, rise, and revive.

Again, as to the manner of its change in its rising, this similitude
also doth fitly suit; as,

It is sown a dead corn; it is raised a living one. It is sown dry,
and without comeliness; it riseth green and beautiful. It is sown
a single corn; it riseth a full ear. It is sown in its husk; but
in its rising it leaveth that husk behind it.

Further, though the kernel thus die, be buried, and meet with all
this change and alteration in these things, yet none of them can
cause the nature of the kernel to cease--it is wheat still. Wheat
was sown and wheat ariseth; only it was sown dead, dry, and barren
wheat; and riseth living, beautiful, and fruitful wheat. It hath
this alteration, then, that it doth greatly change its resemblance,
though yet it hath this power, as still to retain its own nature.
God giveth it a body as it pleaseth him, "but to every seed his
own body."

The apostle having thus presented the manner of the resurrection of
the saints by the nature of seed sown and rising again; he proceedeth,

Second, for further illustration, to three more similitudes--The
first is, to shew us the variety and glory of flesh. The second
is, to shew us the difference of glory that is between heavenly
bodies, and those that are earthy. The third is, to shew us the
difference that is between the glory of the light of the sun, from
that of the moon; and also how one star differeth from another in
glory: and then concludeth, "so is the resurrection of the dead"
(1 Cor 15:39-43). As who should say, at the resurrection of the
bodies, they will be abundantly more altered and changed, than if
the flesh of beasts and fowls were made as noble as the flesh of
men; or the bodies of earth, were made as excellent as the heavenly
bodies, or as if the glory of the moon should be made as bright,
and as clear as the glory of the sun; or as if the glory of the
least star was as glorious, and as shining, as the biggest in the
firmament of heaven.

It is a resurrection indeed, a resurrection every way. The body
ariseth, as to the nature of it, the self-same nature; but as to
the manner of it; how far transcendent is it! There is a poor,
dry, wrinkled kernel cast into the ground, and there it lieth, and
swelleth, breaketh, and, one would think, perisheth; but behold,
it receiveth life, it chitteth,2 it putteth forth a blade, and
groweth into a stalk, there also appeareth an ear; it also sweetly
blossoms, with a full kernel in the ear: it is the same wheat, yet
behold how the form and fashion of that which now ariseth, doth
differ from that which then was sown; its glory also when 'twas
sown, is no glory, when compared with that in which it riseth.
And yet it is the same that riseth that was sown, and no other;
though the same after a far more glorious manner; not the same with
its husk, but without it. Our bran shall be left behind us when we
rise again. The comparison also between the bodies heavenly and
bodies earthly holds forth the same--"The glory of the celestial
is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another." Now mark
it; he doth not speak here of the natures of each of these bodies;
but of the transcendent glory of one above another. "The glory
of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another."
Wherefore I say, at our rising, we shall not change our nature,
but our glory; we shall be equal to the angels (Luke 20:36), not
with respect to their nature, but glory. The nature also of the
moon is one thing, and the glory of the moon is another; and so
one star also differeth from another in glory.

A beggar hath the same nature as a king, and gold in the ore, the
same nature with that which is best refined; but the beggar hath
not the same glory with the king, nor yet the gold in ore, the
same glory with that which is refined. But our state will be far
more altered than any of these in the days when we, like so many
suns in the firmament of heaven, arise out of the heart and bowels
of the earth.

These things thus considered do shew you how vainly they argue,
that say, our human nature consisting of body and soul, shall not
inherit the kingdom of God, and also how far from their purpose,
that saying of the apostle is, which saith, that "flesh and blood
shall not inherit the kingdom of God." And now also, because I am
fallen upon the objection itself, I shall not pass it, but with
a short dash at it. Wherefore reader, whoever thou art, consider
that frequently in scripture the words "flesh" and "blood," as
also in the place alleged, are not to be understood of that matter
which God made; which flesh cleaveth to our bones, and blood runs
in our veins: but is taken for that corruption, weakness, mortality,
and evil that cleaveth to it; which weakness and corruption,
because it possesseth all men, and also wholly ruleth where the
soul is unconverted; therefore it beareth the name of that which
is ruled and acted by it--to wit, our whole man, consisting of
body and soul; yet, I say, is a thing distinct from that flesh and
blood which is essential to our being, and without which we are
no men. As, for instance, he that is Christ's, saith Paul, "hath
crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts" (Gal 5:24),
Who is so vain as to think that the apostle by these words, should
mean our material flesh that hangeth on our bones, and that is
mixed with our natural blood, sinews, and veins; and not rather
of that inward fountain of sin, corruption, and wickedness, which
in another place he calleth "the old man," with his "deceitful
lusts" (Eph 4:22). Again, "The flesh lusteth against the spirit,
and the spirit against the flesh." Is it our flesh that hangeth
on our bones, which lusteth against the spirit? and that also
against which the spirit lusteth? Certainly, if the spirit lusteth
against our material flesh, then it is our duty not to nourish it
at all, because, by nourishing of it we nourish that against which
the Spirit of God fighteth, and warreth. Nay, if the spirit lust
against the flesh on our bones simply considered as flesh; and if
it be our duty to follow the Spirit, as it is, then we must needs
kill ourselves, or cut our flesh from our bones. For whatever the
Spirit of God lusteth against, it must be destroyed; yea, it is
our duty with all speed to destroy it. But wilt thou know, O vain
man, that by flesh here is to be understood, not the nature that
God hath made, but the corrupt apprehension, and wisdom, with
those inclinations to evil, that lodge within us, which in another
place are called the "wisdom of the flesh," yea, in plain terms,
"flesh and blood," where Christ saith, "Flesh and blood hath not
revealed [this] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven" (Matt
16:17).

Nay, observe it, all these places, with many others, do rather point
at a corrupt soul, than a corrupt body; for, indeed, sin and all
spiritual wickedness, they have their seat in the heart and soul
of a man, and by their using this or that member of the body, so
defile the man; the weaknesses of the body, or that attend our
material flesh and blood, they are weaknesses of another kind, as
sickness, aches, pains, sores, wounds, defection of members, &c.
Wherefore, where you read of flesh and blood, as rejected of God;
especially, when it speaks of the flesh and blood of saints, you
are not to understand it as meant of the flesh, which is their
proper human nature, but of that weakness which cleaveth to it.

Paul in another place, reckoneth up the works of the flesh, in many
things, as in witchcraft, hatred, variance, strife, emulation,
fornication, and many others. But can any imagine, that he there
should strike at that flesh which hangeth on our bones, or rather
at that malignity and rebellion that is in the mind of man against
the Lord, by reason of which the members of the body are used
this way, and also sometimes that, to accomplish its most filthy
and abusive deeds (Gal 5:17-21). "They were--enemies in [their]
mind by wicked works" (Col 1:21).

Thus you see that "flesh and blood" is not to be taken always for
the flesh that is upon our hands, and feet, and other parts of our
body; but for that sin, weakness, and infirmity, that cleaveth to
our whole man.

Further then, touching our real substantial flesh, it may be either
considered as God's creature purely, or as corrupted with sin and
infirmity. Now if you consider it as corrupted, so it shall not
inherit the kingdom of God: but yet consider it as God's creature,
and so all that God hath converted to himself, through Jesus Christ,
shall, even with that body when changed, inherit the kingdom of
God. The woman whose clothes are foul, can yet distinguish between
the dirt and the cloth on which it hangeth; and so deals God with
us. 'Tis true, there is not one saint, but while he liveth here,
his body is arrayed and infected with many corrupt and filthy
things, as touching bodily weaknesses; yea, and also with many
sinful infirmities, by reason of that body of sin and death that
yet remains in us: but yet God, I say, distinguisheth between
our weaknesses, and his workmanship, and can tell how to save the
whole man of his people, while he is destroying the corruption
and weakness that cleaveth to them.

And now to return to the place objected--"Flesh and blood shall
not inherit the kingdom of God." It cannot be truly understood,
that that flesh which is man's nature shall not enter the kingdom;
for then, as I said before, Christ must lose his members, the
purchase of his blood, the vessels and temples of his Spirit; for
all this is our body. Again, then Christ also, in that his body,
which is also our flesh and blood, is not in glory, contrary to the
whole current of the New Testament (Heb 2:14,15; 7:24,25; 8;3,4;
10:10-12; Rev 1:18; 2:8).

Yea, it would be nonsense to say, there should be a resurrection,
and that our vile body shall be changed, "and made like to the
glorious body of the Son of God;" if this body do not at all rise
again, but some other thing, which is not in us, and our nature.
But to be short; the apostle here, when he saith, "Flesh and
blood cannot inherit," &c., speaks properly of that mortality
and weakness, that now attends our whole man, and not of our real
substantial body itself. For after he had said, "Flesh and blood
cannot inherit the kingdom of God," he adds, "neither doth corruption
inherit incorruption," which two sayings are answerable to what
he presently adds, saying, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead"--mark, "the dead shall be raised incorruptible"--that
is, the dead shall be so raised as that in their rising, incorruption
shall possess them instead of corruption, and immortality instead
of that mortality that descended to the grave with them,--"for this
corruptible"--mark, this corruptible--"must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality." Mark, I say, it is
this corruptible, and this mortal, that must be raised, though
not corruptible and mortal, as it was buried; but immortal and
incorruptible; it shall leave its grave-clothes of corruption and
mortality behind it (1 Cor 15:50-53).

THIRD. The manner of which their rising, the apostle doth more
distinctly branch out a little above in four particulars, which
particulars are these that follow--1. It is sown in corruption;
it is raised in incorruption. 2. It is sown in dishonour, it is
raised in glory. 3. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
4. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (1
Cor 15).

1. It is raised in incorruption. We are brought into this world by
sin and corruption; corruption is our father, and in sin did our
mother conceive us (Job 17:14; Psa 51:5). And hence it is that we
have our life, not only like a span, shadow, or post, for shortness,
but also, that it is attended with so much vanity and vexation of
spirit. But now being raised from the dead incorruptible, which
is also called a begetting and birth, these things that now in
our life annoy us, and at last take away our life, are effectually
destroyed; and therefore we live for ever, as saith the Spirit--"And
there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither
shall there be any more pain: for the former things," that is,
all our corruptibleness, "are passed away" (Rev 21:4).

There shall be in our resurrection no corruption, either of body
or of soul; no weakness, nor sickness, nor anything tending that
way; as he saith, He will present us "to himself a glorious church,
not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing" (Eph 5:27).
Therefore, when he saith it is raised in incorruption, it is as
if he had said, It is impossible that they should ever sin more,
be sick more, sorrow more, or die more. "They which shall be counted
worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead,
neither marry, nor are given in marriage;" though 'twas thus with
them in this world; "neither can they die any more, for they are
equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the
children of the resurrection" (Luke 20:35, 36).

2. It is raised in glory. The dishonour that doth attend the
saint at his departing this world, it is very great--"he is sown
in dishonour;" he is so loathsome at his death, that his dearest
friends are weary of him, stop their noses at him, see no beauty
in him, nor set any price upon him, (I speak nothing here how
some of them are hanged, starved, banished, and so die, torn to
pieces, and not suffered to be put into graves,) but it is raised
in glory. Glory is the sweetness, comeliness, purity, and perfection
of a thing. The light is the glory of the sun, strength is the
glory of youth, and grey hairs are the glory of old age--that is,
it is the excellency of these things, and that which makes them
shine (1 Cor 15:40,41; Prov 20:29).

Therefore, to arise in glory, it is first to arise in all the
beauty, and utmost completeness that is possible to possess a human
creature; I say, in all its features and members, inconceivably
beautiful. Sin and corruption have made mad work in our bodies as
well as in our souls. 'Tis sin commonly that is the cause of all
the deformity and ill-favouredness that now cleaveth to us, and
that also rendereth us so dishonourable at our death; but now at
our rising, we being raised incorruptible, we shall appear in such
perfections, and that of all sorts, belonging to the body, that
all the beauty and comeliness, sweetness and amiableness, that
hath at any time been in this world, it shall be swallowed up a
thousand times told with this glory. The Psalmist saith of Christ
that "he was fairer than the children of men" (Psa 45:2), and
that, as I believe, in his outward man, as well as in his inward
part. He was the exactest, purest, completest, and beautifulest
creature that ever God made, till his visage was so marred by his
persecutions; for in all things he had and shall have the pre-eminence
(Isa 52:14; Col 1:18). Why, our bodies at our resurrection will
not only be as free from sin, as his was before he died, but also
as free from all other infirmities as he was after he was raised
again. In a word, if incorruptibleness can put a beauty upon our
bodies when they arise, we shall have it. There shall be no lame
legs, nor crump shoulders, no bleared eyes, nor yet wrinkled
faces--He "shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned
like unto his glorious body" (Phil 3:21).

Again, all the glory that a glorified soul can help this body to,
it at this day shall enjoy. That soul that hath been these hundreds
or thousands of years in the heavens, soaking in the bosom of
Christ, it shall in a moment come spangling into the body again,
and inhabit every member and vein of the body, as it did before
its departure. That Spirit of God also that took its leave of the
body when it went to the grave, shall now in all perfection dwell
in this body again; I tell you, the body at this day will shine
brighter than the face of Moses or Stephen, even as bright as the
sun, the stars, and angels. "When Christ who is our life, shall
appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory" (Exo 34:29,35;
Acts 6:15; Dan 12:3; Matt 13:43; Luke 20:36; Col 3:3,4).

3. It is raised in power. While we are here, we are attended with
so many weaknesses and infirmities, that in time the least sin or
sickness is too hard for us, and taketh away both our strength,
our beauty, our days, our breath, and life, and all (Job 38:17).
But behold, we are raised in power, in that power that all these
things are as far below us as a grasshopper is below a giant; at
the first appearance of us the world will tremble.

Behold, the gates of death and the bars of the grave are now carried
away on our shoulders, as Samson carried away the gates of the city
(Judg 16:3). Death quaketh, and destruction falleth down dead at
our feet: What, then, can stand before us? We shall then carry
that grace, majesty, terror, and commanding power in our souls that
our countenances shall be like lightning3 (Compare Luke 20:16 with
Matthew 28:2,3). "For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible
shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put
on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is
written, Death is swallowed up in victory" (1 Cor 15:53,54).

4. It is raised a spiritual body. This is the last particular,
and is indeed the reason of the other three; it is an incorruptible
body, because it is a spiritual one; it is a glorious body,
because it is a spiritual one; it doth rise in power, because it
is a spiritual body. When the body is buried, or sown in the earth,
it is a body corruptible, dishonourable, weak, and natural; but
when it ariseth, it doth rise incorruptible, glorious, powerful,
and spiritual; so that so far as incorruption is above corruption,
glory above dishonour, power above weakness, and spiritual above
natural; so great an alteration will there be in our body, when
raised again. And yet it is this body and not another; this in
nature, though changed into a far more glorious state, a thousand
times further than if a hoggard4 was changed to be an emperor.
Mark, "it is sown a natural body;" a very fit word; for though
there dwell never so much of the Spirit and grace of God in it
while it liveth, yet so soon as the soul is separate from it, so
soon also doth the Spirit of God separate from it, and so will
continue while the day of its rising be come. Therefore, it is
laid into the earth a mere lump of man's nature--"It is sown a
natural body;" but now at the day when "the heavens be no more,"
as Job saith (14:12), then the trump shall sound, even the trump
of God, and, in a moment, the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
glorious, and spiritual (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16,17). So that
I say, the body when it ariseth, will be so swallowed up of life
and immortality, that it will be, as if it had lost its own human
nature; though, in truth, the same substantial real nature is
every whit there still. 'Tis the same it that riseth, that was
sown; "It is sown," "it is raised;" "it is sown," "it is raised,"
saith the apostle. You know, that things which are candied, by the
art of the apothecary, they are so swallowed up with the sweetness
and virtue of that in which they are candied, that they are now,
as though they had no other nature, than that in which they are
boiled: when yet, in truth, the thing candied doth still retain
its own proper nature and essence; though by virtue of its being
candied, it loseth its former sourness, bitterness, stinking,
smell, or the like. Just thus, at the last day, it will be with
our bodies: we shall be so candied, by being swallowed up of life,
as before is shewed, that we shall be, as if we were all spirit,
when in truth, it is but this body that is swallowed up of life.
And it must needs be, that our nature still remain, otherwise it
cannot be us that shall be in heaven, but something besides us.
Let us lose our proper human nature, and we lose absolutely our
being, and so are annihilated into nothing. Wherefore it, the same
it, that is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body.

But again, as I said, concerning things that are candied; our body,
when thus risen, it shall lose all that sourness and stink, that
now, by reason of sin and infirmity, cleaveth to it: neither shall
its lumpishness, or unwieldiness, be any impediment to its acting
after the manner of angels. Christ hath shewed us, what our body
at our resurrection shall be, by shewing of us, in his word, what
his body was, at and after, his resurrection. We read, that his
body, after he was risen from the dead, though it yet retained
the very same flesh and bones that did hang upon the cross, yet
how angelical was it at all times, upon all occasions! He could
come in to his disciples with that very body, when the doors were
shut upon them: He could, at pleasure, to their amazement, appear
in the twinkling of an eye, in the midst of them: he could be visible
and invisible as he pleased, when he sat at meat with them: in a
word, he could pass and repass, ascend and descend in that body,
with far more pleasure and ease, than the bird by the art of her
wing (Luke 24:31,32,36-42,50,51; John 20:19,24-26; Acts 1:1-12;
Mark 16:19; Eph 4:7-10).

Now, I say, as we have in this world borne the image of our first
father; so, at that day, we shall have the image of Jesus Christ,
and be as he is--"As is the earthy, such are they also that
are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are
heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall
also, (at our resurrection,) bear the image of the heavenly" (1
Cor 15:48,49). It is so in part now, but shall so be in perfection
then.

To mount up to heaven, and to descend again at pleasure, shall, with
us, in that day, be ordinary. If there were ten thousand bars of
iron, or walls of brass, to separate between us, and our pleasure
and desire, at that day, they should as easily be pierced by us,
as is the cobweb, or air by the beams of the sun: And the reason
is, because to the Spirit, wherewith we shall be inconceivably
filled at that day, nothing is impossible (Matt 17:20); and the
working of it at that day, shall be in that nature and measure
as to swallow up all impossibilities. He "shall change our vile
body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body,"--now
mark, "according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue
all things unto himself" (Phil 3:21). As who should say, I know
that there are many things, that in this world hinder us from having
our bodies like the body of Christ; but when God shall raise us
from the dead, because he will then have our body like the body
of his Son; He will stretch forth such a power to work upon, and
in our body, that he will remove all impossibilities and hindrances.

Nay, further, we do not only see what operation the Spirit will have
in our body, by the carriage of Christ, after his resurrection;
but even by many a saint before their death. The Spirit used to
catch Elijah away, no man could tell whither. It carried Ezekiel
hither and thither: It carried Christ from the top of the pinnacle
of the temple into Galilee; through it he walked on the sea; the
Spirit caught away Philip from the eunuch, and carried him as far
as Azotus (1 Kings 18:11,12; 2 Kings 2:11; Eze 3:14; Luke 4:14;
Matt 14:25; Acts 8:39,40).

Thus the great God hath given us a taste of the power and glory that
is in himself, and how easily it will help us, by its possessing
5 of us at the resurrection, to act and do like angels; as Christ
saith, They that shall be counted worthy of that world, and of
the resurrection from the dead, they shall not die, but be equal
to the angels (Luke 21:36).

Further, as the body by being thus spiritualized, shall be as I
have said; so again it must needs be, that hereby all the service
of the body, and faculties of the soul, must be infinitely enlarged
also. Now "we shall see him as he is," and now we shall know even
as we are known (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor 13:12).

First, Now we shall see him; to wit, Christ in his glory; not by
revelation only, as we do now, but then face to face; and he will
have us with him to this very end (John 17:24). Though John was
in the Spirit when he had the vision of Christ, yet it made him
fall at his feet as dead (Rev 1:17); and also turned Daniels'
beauty into corruption (Dan 10:8). It was so glorious, and so
overweighing a glory, that he appeared in; but we shall, at the
day of our resurrection, be so furnished, that we shall with the
eagle, be able to look upon the sun in his strength: we shall
then, I say, "see Him as he is," who now is in the light, that no
eye hath seen, nor any man can see till that day (1 Tim 6:16).

Now we shall see into all things; there shall not be anything hid
from us; there shall not be a saint, a prophet, or saved soul,
small or great, but we shall then perfectly know them. Also, all
the works of creation, election, and redemption, and shall see
and know as thoroughly, all the things of heaven, and earth, and
hell, even as perfectly, as now we know our A, B, C. For the Spirit,
with which we shall in every cranny of soul and body be filled,
I say, "searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Cor
2:10). We see what strange things have been known by the prophets
and saints of God, and that when they knew but "in part."

Abraham could, by it, tell to a day, how long his seed should be
under persecution in Egypt (Gen 15:13); Elisha, by it, could tell
what was done in the king of Assyria's bed-chamber (2 Kings 6:12);
Ahijah could know by this, Jeroboam's wife, so soon, yea before
her feet entered within his door, though he saw her not (1 Kings
14:1-6).

The prophet of Judah could tell by this, what God would do to Bethel,
for the idolatry there committed; and could also point out the man
by name that should do the execution, long before he was born (1
Kings 13:2). What shall I say, Enoch by it could tell what should
be done at the end of the world (Jude 14,15). How did the prophets,
to a circumstance, prophesy of Christ's birth, his death, his
burial, of their giving him gall and vinegar, of their parting his
raiment, and piercing his hands and feet! (Isa 53). Of his riding
on an ass also; all this they saw, when they spake of him (John
12:41). Peter also, though half asleep, could at the very first
word, call Moses and Elias by their names, when they appeared to
Christ in the holy mount (Luke 9:33). He is very ignorant of the
operation of the Spirit of God, that scrupleth these things. But
now, I say, if these things have been done, seen, and known, by
spiritual men, while their knowledge hath been but in part, how
shall we know, see, and discern, when that which is perfect is
come? Which will be at the resurrection; "It is raised a spiritual
body."

Thus, in few words, have I shewed you the truth of the resurrection
of the just, and also the manner of their rising. Had I judged it
convenient, I might have much enlarged on each particular, and have
added many more; for the doctrine of the resurrection, however
questioned by heretics, and erroneous persons; yet is such a truth,
that almost all the holy scriptures of God point at, and centre
in it.

God hath, from the beginning of the world, shewed to us, that our
body must be with him, as well as our soul, in the kingdom of
heaven. I say, he hath shewed us, how he will deal with those that
are alive at Christ's coming, by his translating of Enoch (Gen
5:24), and by taking him body and soul to himself (Heb 11:5); As
also, by his catching of Elias up body and soul into heaven, in
a fiery chariot (2 Kings 2:11), and,

Secondly He hath often put us in remembrance of the rising of those
that are dead, at that day, as, (1.) By the faith he gave Abraham,
concerning the offering of his son: for when he offered him, he
accounted "that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead;
from whence also he received him in a figure" (Heb 11:19). In a
figure of the resurrection of Christ, for Abraham's justification;
and of Abraham's resurrection by Christ at the last day, for his
glorification. (2.) By the faith he gave Joseph concerning his
bones; which charge, the godly in Egypt, did diligently observe,
and to that end, did keep them four hundred years; and at length,
carried them, I say, from Egypt to Canaan, which was a type of our
being carried in our body, from this world to heaven (Heb 11:22).

Besides, how oft did God give power to his prophets, servants, and
Christ Jesus, to raise some that were now dead, and some that had
been long so; and all, no doubt, to put the present generations,
as also the generations yet unborn, in mind of the resurrection of
the dead. To this end, I say, how was the Shunammite's son raised
from the dead? (2 Kings 4). The man also at the touching of the
bones of Elisha? (2 Kings 13:20,21). Together with the body of
Lazarus, with Jairus's daughter, and Tabitha, and many others,
who, after their souls were departed from them, Lazarus lying in
his grave four days, were all raised to life again, and lived with
that very body out of which the soul, at their death, had departed
(Luke 8:53-56; John 11:43,44; Acts 9:40,41). But above all, that
notable place in Matthew, at the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
gives us a notable fore-word of the resurrection of the just.
Saith the text, "And the graves were opened; and many bodies of
the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after
his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto
many" (Matt 27:52,53).

When the author to the Hebrews had given us a catalogue of the
worthies of the Old Testament, he saith at last, "These all died
in faith." In the faith of what? That they should lie and rot in
their grave eternally? No, verily; this is the faith of Ranters,
not of Christians. They all died in faith, that they should rise
again; and therefore counted this world not worth the living in,
upon unworthy terms, that after death "they might obtain a better
resurrection" (Heb 11:13,35).

It is also worth the considering, that of Paul to the Philippians,
where he saith that he was confident that that God that had begun
a good work in them would "perform it until the day of Jesus
Christ" (Phil 1:6). Which day of Christ, was not the day of their
conversion, for that was passed with them already, they were now
the children of God; but this day of Christ, it is the same which
in other places is called the day when he shall come with the
sound of the last trump to raise the dead. For you must know, that
the work of salvation is not at an end with them that are now in
heaven; no, nor ever will, until (as I shewed you before) their
bodies be raised again. God, as I have told you, hath made our
bodies the members of Christ, and God doth not count us thoroughly
saved, until our bodies be as well redeemed and ransomed out of
the grave and death, as our souls from the curse of the law, and
dominion of sin.

Though God's saints have felt the power of much of his grace, and
have had many a sweet word fulfilled on them; yet one word will be
unfulfilled on their particular person, so long as the grave can
shut her mouth upon them: but, as I said before, when the gates
of death do open before them, and the bars of the grave do fall
asunder; then shall be brought to pass that saying that is written,
"Death is swallowed up of victory;" and then will they hear that
most pleasant voice, "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for
thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the
dead" (Isa 26:19). Thus much touching the truth of the resurrection
of the just, with the manner of their rising.

Now you must know, that the time of the rising of these just, will
be at the coming of the Lord: for when they arise, nay, just before
they are raised, the Lord Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds
in flaming fire, with all his mighty angels; the effect of which
appearing will be the rising of the dead, &c. "For the Lord himself
shall descend from heaven with a shout," saith Paul, "and with the
voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead
shall rise" (2 Thess 1:8; 1 Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:52).

Now at the time of the Lord's coming, there will be found in the
world alive both saints and sinners. As for the saints that then
shall be found alive, they shall, so soon as all the saints are
raised out of their graves, not die, but be changed, and swallowed up
of incorruption, immortality, and glory; and have the soul-spiritual
translation, as the raised saints shall have; as he saith, "We
shall not all [die, or] sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a
moment, in the twinkling of an eye,--for the trumpet shall sound,
and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed"
(1 Cor 15:51,52). And again, "For the Lord himself shall descend
from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and
with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall
we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thess 4:16,17). As he saith also
in another place, he "shall judge the quick and the dead at his
appearing and his kingdom" (2 Tim 4:1).

Now when the saints that sleep shall be raised thus incorruptible,
powerful, glorious, and spiritual; and also those that then shall
be found alive, made like them: then forthwith, before the unjust
are raised, the saints shall appear before the judgment-seat of
the Lord Jesus Christ, there to give an account to their Lord the
Judge, of all things they have done; and to receive a reward for
their good according to their labour.

They shall rise, I say, before the wicked, they being themselves
the proper children of the resurrection; that is, Those that must
have all the glory of it, both as to pre-eminency and sweetness;
and therefore they are said, when they rise, to rise from the dead;
that is, in their rising, they leave the reprobate world behind
them (Luke 20:35,36; Acts 3:15; 4:10; 13:30; John 12:1,9,17).
And it must be so, because also the saints will have done their
account, and be set upon the throne with Christ, as kings and
princes with him, to judge the world, when the wicked world are
raised. The saints shall judge the world; they shall judge angels;
yea, they shall sit upon the thrones of judgment to do it (1
Cor 6:2,3; Psa 122:5). But to pass that, [we come THIRD, to the
examination the just must undergo, and the account they must give
to the Lord the Judge; or,]

THE JUDGMENT OF THE JUST.

Now when the saints are raised, as ye have heard, they must give
an account of all things, in general, that they have done while
they were in the world; of all things, I say, whether they be good
or bad.

FIRST, Of all their bad; but mark, not under the consideration of
vagabonds, slaves and sinners, but as sons, stewards, and servants
of the Lord Jesus. That this shall be, it is evident from divers
places of the holy Scriptures:

First, Paul saith, "We shall all stand before the judgment-seat
of Christ,"--we saints--"For it is written, As I live, saith the
Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess
to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to
God" (Rom 14:10-12). Again, "Wherefore we labour, that, whether
present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all
appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one [of us]
may receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath
done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Cor 5:9,10).

It is true, God loveth his people, but yet he loveth not their sins,
nor anything they do, though with the greatest zeal for him, if
he be contrary to his word; wherefore as truly as God will given
a reward to his saints and children for all that they have indeed
well done; so truly will he at this day distinguish their good
and bad: and when both are manifest by the righteous judgment of
Christ; he will burn up their bad, with all their labour, travel,
and pains in it for ever. He can tell how to save his people, and
yet take vengeance on their inventions (Psa 99:8).

That is an observable place, in the first epistle of Paul to the
Corinthians, and the third chapter, "If any man build," saith he,
"upon this foundation [Christ] gold, silver, precious stones,
wood, hay, stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest: for
the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any
man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive
a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss;
but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor 3:12-15).
Now observe,

1. As I said before, the foundation is Christ (verse 11).

2. The gold, silver, and precious stones that here are said to be
built upon him, are all the actings in faith and love, according
to the word, that the saints are found doing for his sake in the
world (1 Peter 1:7; Rev 3:18).

3. To build on him wood, hay, and stubble, it is to build, together
with what is right in itself, human inventions and carnal ordinances,
fathering them still on God and his allowance.

4. The fire that here you read of, it is the pure word and law of
God (Jer 23:29; John 12:48).

5. The day that here you read of, it is the day of Christ's coming
to judgment, to reveal the hidden things of darkness, and to make
manifest the counsels of the heart (1 Cor 4:5).

6. At this day, the gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and
stubble, and that of every man, shall be tried by this fire, that
it may be manifest of what sort it is; the wind, the rain, and
floods, beat now as vehemently against the house upon the rock,
as against that on the sand (Luke 6:48,49).

Observe again,

(1.) That the apostle speaks here of the saved, not of the
reprobate--"He himself shall be saved."

(2.) That this saved man may have wood, hay, and stubble; that is,
things that will not abide the trial.

(3.) That neither this man's goodness, nor yet God's love to him,
shall hinder all his wood, hay, or stubble from coming on the
stage, "Every man's work shall be manifest: the fire shall try
every man's work, of what sort it is."

(4.) Thus, a good man shall see all his wood, hay, and stubble
burnt up in the trial before his face.

(5.) That good man then shall suffer loss, or, the loss of all
things that are not then according to the word of God--"If any
man's works shall be burnt," or any of them, "he shall suffer
loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire"--that is,
yet so as that all that ever he hath done, shall be tried, and
squared by the word of God.

From all which, it must be unavoidably concluded, that the whole
body of the elect must count with their Lord for all things they
have done, whether good or bad, and that he will destroy all
their bad, with the purity of his word, yea, and all their pains,
travel, and labour that they have spent about it. I am persuaded
that there are now many things done by the best of saints, that
then they will gladly disown and be ashamed of; yea, which they
have and do still do with great devotion. Alas, what gross things
do some of the saints in their devotion father upon God, and
do reckon him the author thereof, and that he also prompts them
forward to the doing thereof, and doth give them his presence in
the performance of them! Yea, and as they father many superstitions and
scriptureless things upon him; so they die in the same opinion,
and never come in this world, to the sight of their evil and
ignorance herein.6

But now the judgment-day is the principal time wherein everything
shall be set in its proper place; that which is of God in its
place, and that which is not, shall now be discovered, and made
manifest. In many things now we offend all; and then we shall see
the many offences we have committed, and shall ourselves judge
them as they are. The Christian, is in this world, so candid a
creature, that take him when he is not under some great temptation,
and he will ingeniously confess to his God, before all men, how
he hath sinned and transgressed against his Father; and will fall
down at the feet of God, and cry, Thou art righteous, for I have
sinned; and thou art gracious, that, notwithstanding my sin, thou
shouldest save me. Now, I say, if the Christian is so simple and
plain-hearted with God, in the days of his imperfection, when he
is accompanied with many infirmities and temptations; how freely
will he confess and acknowledge his miscarriages, when he comes
before his Lord and Saviour; absolutely stript of all temptation
and imperfection. "As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall
bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God" (Rom 14:11; Phil
2:10,11). Every knee shall bow, and reverence God the Creator, and
Christ the Redeemer of the world; and every tongue shall confess,
that his will alone ought by them to have been obeyed in all things;
and shall confess also, and that most naturally and freely--I mean,
the saints shall--in how many things they were deceived, mistaken,
deluded, and drawn aside in their intended devotion and honour to
God.

[Second.] But yet take notice, that in this day, when the saints
are thus counting for their evil before their Saviour and Judge;
they shall not then, as now, at the remembrance and confession
of sin, be filled with the guilt, confusion, and shame that now
through the weakness of faith attendeth their souls; neither shall
they in the least be grieved or offended, that God hath before the
angels and the rest of their holy brethren, laid open to a tittle
their infirmities, from the least and first, to the biggest and
last. For,

1. The God to whom they confess all, they will now more perfectly
than ever see he doth love them, and free them from all, even when
and before they confess and acknowledge them to him; and they
shall, I say, have their soul so full of the ravishing raptures
of the life and glory that now they are in, that they shall be
of it swallowed up in that measure and manner, that neither fear,
nor guilt, nor confusion can come near them, or touch them. Their
Judge is their Saviour, their Husband, and Head; who, though he
will bring every one of them for all things to judgment, yet he
will keep them for ever out of condemnation, and anything that
tendeth that way. "Perfect love casteth out fear," even while we
are here; much more then, when we are with our Saviour, our Jesus,
being passed from death to life (John 5:24; 1 John 4:18).

2. The saints at this day, shall have their hearts and souls so
wrapped up in the pleasure of God their Saviour, that it shall be
their delight, to see all things, though once never so near and
dear unto them; yet now to perish, if not according to his word
and will. "Thy will be done," is to be always our language here
(Matt 6:10); but to delight to see it done in all things, though
it tend never so much to the destruction of what we love; to
delight, I say, to see it done in the height and perfection of
delight; it will be when we come to heaven, or when the Lord shall
come to judge the world. But,

3. The sole end of the counting of the saints at the day of God,
it will be, not only for the vindication of the righteousness,
holiness, and purity of the word, neither will it centre only in
the manifestation of the knowledge and heart-discerning nature
of Christ [though both these will be in it, (Rev 2:22,23)]. But
their very remembrances and sight of the sin and vanity that they
have done while here; it shall both set off, and heighten the
tender affections of their God unto them; and also increase their
joy and sweetness of soul, and clinging of heart to their God.
Saints while here, are sweetly sensible that the sense of sin,
and the assurance of pardon, will make famous work in their poor
hearts. Ah, what meltings without guilt! what humility without
casting down! and what a sight of the creature's nothingness, yet
without fear, will this sense of sin work in the soul! The sweetest
frame, the most heart-endearing frame, that possibly a Christian
can get into while in this world, is to have a warm sight of sin,
and of a Saviour upon the heart at one time. Now it weeps not for
fear and through torment, but by virtue of constraining grace and
mercy, and is at this very time, so far off of disquietness of
heart, by reason of the sight of its wickedness, that it is driven
into an ecstasy, by reason of the love and mercy that is mingled
with the sense of sin in the soul.

The heart never sees so much of the power of mercy as now, nor of
the virtue, value, and excellency of Christ in all his offices as
now, and the tongue so sweetly enlarged to proclaim and cry up
grace as now; now will Christ "come to be glorified in his saints,
and to be admired in all them that believe" (2 Thess 1:10).

Wherefore, though the saints receive by faith the forgiveness
of sins in this life, and so are passed from death to life; yet
again, Christ Jesus, and God his Father, will have every one of
these sins reckoned up again, and brought fresh upon the stage in
the day of judgment, that they may see and be sensible for ever,
what grace and mercy hath laid hold upon them. And this I take
to be the reason of that remarkable saying of the apostle Peter,
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted
out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence
of the Lord; and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was
preached unto you: whom the heaven must receive until the times
of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth
of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).

If a sense of some sin, [for who sees all? (Psa 19:12)], and
a sight of the love of God, will here so work upon the spirit of
the godly: what will a sight of all sin do, when together with it
they are personally present with their Lord and Saviour?

Yea, if a sight of some sins, with a possibility of pardon,
will make the heart love, reverence, and fear with guiltless and
heart-affecting fears; what will a general sight of all sin, and
together with them an eternal acquittance from them, work on the
heart of the saint for ever?

Yea, I say again, if a sight of sin, and the love of God, will make
such work in that soul where yet there is unbelief, blindness,
mistrust, and forgetfulness: what will a sight of sin do in that
soul, who is swallowed up of love, who is sinless, and temptationless;
who hath all the faculties of soul and body strained by love and
grace, to the highest pin of perfection, that is possible to be in
glory enjoyed and possessed? Oh the wisdom and goodness of God,
that he at this day, should so cast about the worst of our things,
even those that naturally tend to sink us, and damn us, for our
great advantage! "All things shall work together for good," indeed,
"to them that love God" (Rom 8:28). Those sins that brought a curse
upon the whole world, that spilt the heart-blood of our dearest
Saviour, and that laid his tender soul under the flaming wrath of
God, shall by his wisdom and love, tend to the exaltation of his
grace, and the inflaming of our affections to him for ever and
ever (Rev 5:9-14).

It will not be thus with devils; it will not be thus with reprobates; the
saved only have this privilege peculiar to themselves. Wherefore,
to vary a little from the matter in hand: will God make that use
of sin, even in our counting for it, that shall in this manner work
for our advantage? Why then, let saints also make that advantage
of their sin, as to glorify God thereby, which is to be done, not
by saying, "Let us do evil, that good may come;" or, "Let us sin,
that grace may abound;" but by taking occasion by the sin that is
past to set the crown upon the head of Christ for our justification;
continually looking upon it, so as to press us, to cleave close
to the Lord Jesus, to grace and mercy through him, and to the
keeping of us humble for ever, under all his dispensations and
carriages to us.

Now, having counted for all their evil, and confessed to God's glory,
how they fell short, and did not the truth in this, or that, or
other particulars, and having received their eternal acquittance
from the Lord and Judge, in the sight of both angels and saints;
forthwith the Lord Jesus will make inquiry,

SECOND, into all the good and holy actions and deeds they did do
in the world. Now here shall all things be reckoned up, from the
very first good thing that was done by Adam or Abel, to the last
that will fall out to be done in the world. The good of all the
holy prophets, of all apostles, pastors, teachers, and helps in
the church; here also will be brought forth and to light, all the
good carriages of masters of families, of parents, of children,
of servants, of neighbours, or whatever good thing any man doth.
But to be general and short,

First, here will be a recompense for all that have sincerely laboured
in the word and doctrine--I say, a recompense for all the souls
they have saved by their word, and watered by the same. Now shall
Paul the planter, and Apollos the waterer, with every one of the
their companions, receive the reward that is according to their
works (1 Cor 3:6-8).

Now, all the preaching, praying, watching, and labour thou hast
been at, in thy endeavouring to catch men from Satan to God, shall
be rewarded with spangling glory. Not a soul thou hast converted
to the Lord Jesus, nor a soul thou hast comforted, strengthened,
or helped by thy wholesome counsel, admonition, and comfortable
speech, but it shall stick as a pearl in that crown "which the Lord
the righteous Judge, shall give thee at that day" (2 Tim 4:7,8).
That is, if thou dost it willingly, delighting to lift up the name
of God among men; if thou doest it with love, and longing after
the salvation of sinners, otherwise thou wilt have only thy labour
for thy pains, and no more. "If I do this thing willingly, I have
a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is
committed to my charge" (1 Cor 9:17; Phil 1:15). But, I say, if
thou do it graciously, then a reward followeth; "For what is our
hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye," saith Paul,
"in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are
our glory and joy" (1 Thess 2:19,20). Let him therefore that Christ
hath put into his harvest, take comfort in the midst of all his
sorrow, and know that God acknowledgeth, that he that converteth
a sinner from the error of his way, doth even save that soul from
death, "and covereth a multitude of sins" (James 5:20). Wherefore
labour to convert, labour to water, labour to build up, and to
"Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight
thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre,
but of a ready mind;--and when the chief Shepherd shall appear,
ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away" (1 Peter
5:2,4).

Secondly, And as the ministers of Christ's gospel shall at this day
be recompensed; so shall also those more private saints be with
tender affections, and love looked on, and rewarded for all their
work and labour of love, which they have shewed to the name of
Christ, in ministering to his saints, and suffering for his sake
(Heb 6:10). "Whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall
he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free" (Eph 6:8).
Ah! little do the people of God think, how largely and thoroughly,
God will at that day, own and recompense all the good and holy
acts of his people. Every bit, every drop, every rag, and every
night's harbour, though but in a wisp of straw, shall be rewarded
in that day before men and angels--"Whosoever shall give to drink
unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name
of a disciple, verily I say unto you," saith Christ, "he shall in
no wise lose his [a disciple's] reward" (Matt 10:42). Therefore
"When thou makest a feast," saith he, "call the poor, the maimed,
the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot
recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection
of the just" (Luke 14:13,14). If there be any repentance among
the godly at this day, it will be, because the Lord Jesus, in his
person, members, and word, was no more owned, honoured, entertained,
and provided for by them, when they were in this world: For it
will be ravishing to all, to see what notice the Lord Jesus will
then take of every widow's mite. He, I say, will call to mind, even
all those acts of mercy and kindness, which thou hast shewed to
him, when thou wast among men. I say, he will remember, cry up,
and proclaim before angels and saints, those very acts of thine,
which thou hast either forgotten, or, through bashfulness wilt
not at that day count worth the owing. He will reckon them up so
fast, and so fully, that thou wilt cry, Lord, when did I do this?
and when did I do the other? "When saw we thee an hungered, and
fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a
stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when
saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King
shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch
as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,
ye have done it unto me" (Matt 25:37-40). "The good works of some
are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be
hid" (1 Tim 5:25). Whatever thou hast done to one of the least of
these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me. I felt the nourishment
of thy food, and the warmth of thy fleece. I remember thy loving
and holy visits when my poor members were sick, and in prison, and
the like. When they were strangers, and wanderers in the world, thou
tookest them in. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant;--enter
thou into the joy of thy Lord" (Matt 25:21-23; 34-47).

Thirdly, Here also will be a reward for all that hardness, and
Christian enduring of affliction that thou hast met with for thy
Lord, while thou wast in the world. Here now will Christ begin from
the greatest suffering, even to the least, and bestow a reward on
them all: from the blood of the suffering saint, to the loss of
a hair: nothing shall go unrewarded (Heb 11:36-40; 2 Cor 8:8-14).
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for
us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor 4:17).
Behold by the scriptures how God hath recorded the sufferings of
his people, and also how he hath promised to reward them--"Blessed
are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile
you," and speak "all manner of evil against you falsely, for my
sake. Rejoice," leap for joy, "and be exceeding glad: for great is
your reward in heaven" (Matt 5:11,12; Luke 6:22,23). "And every
one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father,
or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake,
shall receive an hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life"
(Matt 19:29).

Fourthly, There is also a reward at this day, for all the more
secret, and more retired works of Christianity. 1. There is not
now one act of faith in thy soul, either upon Christ, or against
the Devil, and Antichrist; but it shall in this day be found out,
and praised, honoured and glorified, in the face of heaven (1
Peter 1:7). 2. There is not one groan to God in secret, against
thy own lusts, and for more grace, light, spirit, sanctification,
and strength to go through this world like a Christian: but it
shall even at the coming of Christ be rewarded openly (Matt 6:6).
3. There hath not one tear dropped from thy tender eye against thy
lusts, the love of this world, or for more communion with Jesus
Christ, but as it is now in the bottle of God; so then it shall
bring forth such plenty of reward, that it shall return upon thee
with abundance of increase. "Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye
shall laugh" (Luke 6:21). "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou
my tears into thy bottle; are they not in thy book?" (Psa 56:8).
"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and
weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with
rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him" (Psa 126:5,6).

Having thus in brief shewed you something concerning the resurrection
of the saints, and that they shall count with their Lord at his
coming, both for the burning up what was not according to the
truth, and rewarding them for all their good. It remains, that I
now in few words,

FOURTH, Shew you something also of that with which they shall be
rewarded.

THE REWARD OF THE JUST.

First then, those that shall be found in the day of their resurrection,
when they shall have all their good things brought upon the stage;
they I say, that then shall be found the people most laborious for
God while here; they shall at that day enjoy the greatest portion of
God, or shall be possessed with most of the glory of the Godhead
then. For that is the portion of saints in general (Rom 8:17;
Lam 3:24). And why shall he that doth most for God in this world,
enjoy most of him in that which is to come? But because by doing
and acting, the heart, and every faculty of the soul is enlarged,
and more capacitated, whereby more room is made for glory. Every
vessel of glory shall at that day be full of it; but every one will
not be capable to contain a like measure; and so if they should
have it communicated to them, would not be able to stand under it;
for there is "an eternal weight in the glory that saints shall
then enjoy" (2 Cor 4:17), and every vessel must be at that day
filled--that is, have its heavenly load of it.

All Christians have not the same enjoyment of God in this life,
neither indeed were they able to bear it if they had it (1 Cor
3:2). But those Christians that are most laborious for God in this
world, they have already most of him in their souls, and that not
only because diligence in God's ways, is the means whereby God
communicates himself; but also because thereby the senses are
made more strong, and able, by reason of use, to understand God,
and to discern both good and evil (Heb 5:13,14). To him that hath,
to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance (Matt
13:11,12). He that laid out his pound for his master, and gained
ten therewith, he was made ruler over ten cities; but he that by
his pound gained but five, he was made ruler over but five (Luke
19:16-19). Often, he that is best bred in his youth, he is best
able to manage most, when he is a man, touching things of this
life (Dan 1:3,4); but always he that is best bred, and that is most
in the bosom of God, and that so acts for him here; he is the man
that will be best able to enjoy most of God in the kingdom of
heaven. It is observable that Paul saith, "Our--affliction--worketh
for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor
4:17). Our afflictions do it, not only because there is laid up a
reward for the afflicted, according to the measure of affliction;
but because afflictions, and so every service of God, doth make
the heart more deep, more experimental, more knowing and profound;
and so more able to hold, contain, and bear more (Psa 119:71).
"Every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own
labour" (1 Cor 3:8). And this is the reason of such sayings as
these--Lay up for yourselves a good foundation against the time
to come, that you may lay hold on eternal life (1 Tim 6:19), which
eternal life, is not the matter of our justification from sin in
the sight of God; for that is done freely by grace, through faith
in Christ's blood; (but here the apostle speaks of giving of alms)
but it is the same that in the other place he calls "the far more
exceeding and eternal weight of glory." And hence it is that he
in his stirring them up to be diligent in good works, doth tell
them, that he doth not exhort them to it because he wanted, but
because he would have "fruit that might abound to their account"
(Phil 4:17); as he saith also in another place, "Beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the
Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the
Lord" (1 Cor 15:58). Therefore I say, the reward that the saints
shall have at this day for all the good they have done, it is the
enjoyment of God, according to their works: though they shall be
freely justified and glorified without works.

Second, As the enjoyment of God at that day, will be to the saints,
according to their works and doings--I speak not now of justification
from sin--so will their praise and commendations at that day, be
according to the same, and both of them their degrees of glory; for
I say, as God by communicating of himself unto us at that day,
will thereby glorify us, so also he will for the adding all things
that may furnish with glory every way, cause to be proclaimed in
the face of heaven, and in the presence of all the holy angels;
everything that hath for God, his ways, and people, been done by
us while here we have been. "Whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness
shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in
the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops" (Luke
12:2,3). Again, He that "shall confess me," saith Christ, "before
men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven"
(Matt 10:32).

Now as he of whom Christ is ashamed when he comes in his glory, and
in the glory of the holy angels, will then lie under inconceivable
disgrace, shame, dishonour, and contempt: so he whom Christ shall
confess, own, commend, and praise at that day, must needs have very
great dignity, honour, and renown, "for then shall every man have
praise of God"--to wit, according to his works (1 Cor 4:5). Now
will Christ proclaim before thee and all others what thou hast
done, and what thou hast suffered, what thou hast owned, and what
thou hast withstood for his name (Mark 8:38). This is he that forsook
his goods, his relations, his country, and life for me: this is
the man that overcame the flatteries and threats, allurements and
enticings, of a whole world for me; behold him, he is an Israelite
indeed (John 1:47), the top man in his generation, "none like him
in all the earth" (Job 1:8). It is said, that when king Ahasuerus
had understanding of how good service Mordecai the Jew had done
to and for him, he commanded that the royal apparel and the crown,
with the horse that the king did ride on, should be given to him,
and that he should with that crown, apparel, and horse, be had
through the city, in the presence of all his nobles, and that
proclamation should be made before him, "Thus shall it be done
unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour" (Esth 6:9-11).

Ahasuerus in this was a type to hold forth to the children of God,
how kindly he will take all their labour and service of love, and
how he will honour and dignify the same; as Christ saith, "Let your
loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves
like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from
the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto
him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he
cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall
gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth
and serve them" (Luke 12:35-57). The meaning is, that those souls
that shall make it their business to honour the Lord Jesus Christ,
in the day of their temptation; he will make it his business
to honour and glorify them in the day of his glorification (John
12:26). "Verily, I say unto you, that he will make them sit down
to meat, and shall come forth and serve them. If any man will
serve me," saith he, "him will my Father honour." It hath been
God's way in this world to proclaim the acts and doings of his
saints in his word before all in this world, and he will do it in
that which is to come (Mark 14:9; Rev 3:4; 14:1-6).

Third, Another thing that shall be yet added to the glory of the
saints, in the kingdom of their Saviour, at his coming is, they
shall every one of them then have his throne and place of degree
on Christ's right hand, and on his left, in his glorious kingdom,
according to the relation they stand in to Christ, as the members
of his body; for as Christ will have a special eye on us, and
a tender and affectionate heart, to recompense to the full every
good thing that any man doth for his name in this world: so also
he will have as great regard, that there be to every member of his
body, the place, and state that is comely for every such member.
When the mother of Zebedee's children petitioned our Saviour that
he would grant to her, that her two sons might sit, the one on his
right hand, and the other on his left, in his kingdom: though he
did not grant to her the request for her children, yet he affirmed
that there would be places of degrees and honour in heaven,
saying, "To sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to
give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my
Father" (Matt 20:20-23). In the temple, there were chambers bigger
and lesser, higher and lower, more inward and more outward: which
chambers were types of the mansions that our Lord when he went
away, told us he went to prepare for us. "In my Father's house
are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go
to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2,3). The foot here, shall
not have the place prepared for the eye, nor yet the hand, that
which is prepared for the ear, but every one shall have his own
place in the body of Christ, and the glory also prepared for such
a relation. Order, as it is comely in earth, so much more in the
kingdom of the God of order, in heaven; where all things shall be
done in their utmost perfections. Here shall Enoch, Noah, Abraham,
Moses, Joshua, David, with the prophets, have every one his place,
according to the degree of Old Testament saints. As God said to
Daniel, "Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest,
and stand in thy lot at the end of the days" (Dan 12:13). And here
also shall Peter, Paul, Timothy, and all other the church officers
have their place, and heavenly state, according as God hath
set them in the church in the New Testament. As Paul saith of the
deacons, "They that have used the office of a deacon well, purchase
to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which
is in Christ Jesus" (1 Tim 3:13). And so of all other saints, be
they here of what rank, quality, or place in the church soever,
they shall have every one his state, his heavenly state, according
as he standeth in the body. As he saith, seeing those members
that are most feeble are necessary, to them shall be given "more
abundant honour" (1 Cor 12:22,23). Of this heavenly order in the
kingdom of Christ, when his saints are risen from the dead, was
Solomon a notable type in his family, and among his servants and
officers, who kept such exactness in the famous order in which he
had placed all about him, that it did amaze and confound beholders.
For "when the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and
the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the
sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and
their apparel; his cup-bearers also, and their apparel; and his
ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord, there was no
more spirit in her" (2 Chron 9:3,4). "Glorious things are spoken
of thee, O city of God" (Psa 87:3). Having gone thus far, I shall
now come to

THE SECOND PART OF THE TEXT,

To wit, that there shall be a resurrection of the wicked. "There
shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust;"
for as the just go before the unjust, in name and dignity,
and honour, so they shall in the last day, go before them in the
resurrection.

Now, then, when the saints have thus risen out of their graves,
given up their accounts, received their glory, and are set upon
the thrones, "for there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones
of the house of David" (Psa 122:5). When, I say, they are all
of them in their royal apparel, with crowns of glory, every one
presenting the person of a king, then come the unjust out of their
graves, to receive their judgment for what they have done in the
body. As Paul saith, "We must all appear before the judgment-seat
of Christ, that every one," both saints and sinners, "may receive
the things done in the body, whether it be good, or whether it be
bad."

But now, because I would prove by the word, whatever I would have
others receive for a truth, therefore I shall in few particulars,

FIRST, prove the resurrection of the wicked.

THE RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED.

First, then, it is evident, that the wicked shall rise, from the
very terms and names that the raised shall then go under, which
are the very same names that they did go under when they lived in
this world. They are called the heathen, the nations, the world,
the wicked, and those that do iniquity; they are called men,
women, [of] Sodom, Sidon, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and Tyre. The men
of Nineveh shall rise up in judgment (Luke 10:12-14); the queen
of the south shall rise up in the judgment (Matt 12:41,42); and
it shall be more tolerable for Sodom in the day of judgment than
for other sinners that have resisted more light (Matt 11:21-24).
"The heavens and the earth, which are now,--are kept in store,
reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition
of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:7; Joel 3:12-14). Now these terms, or
names, are not given to the spirits of the wicked only, but to
them as consisting of body and soul. Further, Christ tells his
adversaries, when they had apprehended him, and shamefully entreated
him, that yet they should see him sit on the right hand of power,
and coming in the clouds of heaven (Matt 25:31,32; 26:64; Jude
14,15), as John also doth testify, saying, "Behold, he cometh with
clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced
him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him" (Rev
1:7). Now none of these sayings are yet fulfilled, neither shall
they, until his second coming; for though the Jews did many of
them see him, when he did hang upon the cross, yet then he was not
coming in the clouds of heaven, neither did then all kindreds of
the earth wail because of him. No, this is reserved till he comes
to judge the world; for then shall the ungodly be so put to it, that
gladly they would creep into the most invincible rock or mountain
under heaven, to hide themselves from his face, and the majesty of
his heavenly presence (Rev 6:14-17). There shall therefore, that
this may be brought to pass, be a resurrection of the dead, both
of the just and unjust. For though an opinion of no resurrection
may now lull men asleep, in security and impiety, yet the Lord
when he comes will rouse them, and cause them to awake; not only
out of their security, but out of their graves, to their doom,
that they may receive for their error, the recompense that is meet.

Second, The body of the ungodly must, at the last, arise out of
the grave, because that body and their soul, while they lived in
the world, were co-partners in their lusts and wickedness. "The
Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed" (1
Sam 2:3). He will therefore bring every work into judgment, "with
every secret thing" (Eccl 12:14). And as he will bring into judgment
every work, so will he also the worker thereof, "even the dead,
small and great" (Rev 20:12-14). It is not in God to lay the
punishment where the fault is not, neither to punish a part of
the damned for the whole. "With righteousness shall he judge the
world, and the people with equity" (Psa 98:9). "Shall not the
Judge of all the earth do right?" (Gen 18:25). As therefore the
body was co-partner with the soul in sinning, so shall every man
receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath
done. Wherefore he saith in another place, "Behold, I come quickly;
and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work
shall be" (Rev 22:12). There shall therefore be a resurrection of
the dead, both of the just and unjust.

Third, The body of the wicked must rise again, because as the whole
man of the just also that is the vessel of mercy and glory; so the
whole man of the unjust is the vessel of wrath and destruction.
There are, saith Paul, in a great house not only vessels of gold
and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some to honour
and some to dishonour. Now, as he sheweth us, these vessels to
honour, they are good men, and the vessels to dishonour are the bad
(2 Tim 2:20,21). Now as these vessels to dishonour, are called the
vessels of wrath: so it is said, that God with much long-suffering,
doth suffer them to be fitted to destruction (Rom 9:22). How they
are thus fitted he also further sheweth, where he saith, They do
"after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasure up unto thyself
wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous
judgment of God" (Rom 2:5), which treasures of wickedness, James
saith, it is treasure up against the last days (which is the time
of judgment), and observe it, he saith, that then it shall eat
their flesh as it were fire (James 5:2,3). Now then, their bodies
being the vessels of the wrath of God, and again, seeing with this
wrath they must be possessed at the last day, that their flesh must
with it be eaten, it is evident, that their body must rise again
out of their graves, and before the judgment-seat appear; for it
is from thence, that each of them must go with his full load to
their long and eternal home, "where their worm dieth not, and the
fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:47,48).

Fourth, The severity of the hand of God towards his children, with
his forbearance of his enemies, doth clearly bespeak a resurrection
of the ungodly, that they may receive the reward for their wickedness
which they have committed in this world. We know, that while the
eyes of the wicked start out with fatness, the godly are plagued
all the day long, and chastened every morning (Psa 73:3-15),
wherefore it is evident, that the place and time of the punishment
of the ungodly, it is another world. If "judgment must begin at
the house of God,--what shall the end be of them that obey not
the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where
shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17,18). Alas,
poor creatures! they now plot against the righteous, and gnash
upon them with their teeth; but "the Lord shall laugh at him, for
he seeth that his day is coming" (Psa 37:13); for as he saith, the
wicked is reserved, or let alone in his wickedness, to the day of
destruction, and shall then be brought forth to the day of wrath,
though in the meantime, he may go to his grave in his banner, and
rest within is tomb7 (Job 21:29-32). As Peter saith again, "The
Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to
reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished" (2
Peter 2:9): And Jude saith, For them "is reserved the blackness
of darkness for ever" (Jude 13). The punishment of the ungodly,
it is reserved till the day of judgment, which will be the time
of their resurrection. Observe,

1. The wicked must be punished.

2. The time of their punishment is not now, but at the day of
judgment.

3. This day of judgment, must be the same with the resurrection of
the dead, at the end of this world. "As therefore the tares are
gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of
this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they
shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them
which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth" (Matt 13:40,41).
There shall then be resurrection of the dead, both of the just
and unjust.

4. The sovereignty of the Lord Jesus over all creatures, doth plainly
foreshew a resurrection of the bad, as well as of the good. Indeed,
the unjust shall not arise, by virtue of any relation they stand
in to the Lord Jesus, as the saints shall; but yet, because all
are delivered into his hand, and he made sovereign Lord over them;
therefore by an act of his sovereign power, they that are ungodly,
shall arise; this is Christ's own argument, "The Father judgeth
no man," saith he, "but hath committed all judgment unto the
Son"--that is, count him, and fall before him as their sovereign
Lord, even as they honour the Father, and he hath given him authority
to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. And then
he adds, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which
all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come
forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;
and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation"
(John 5:22-29). From hence also Paul argueth, saying, "For to this
end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord
both of the dead and living," and then adds, "We shall all stand
before the judgment-seat of Christ" (Rom 14:9,10).

Pray mind these words, Jesus Christ by his death and resurrection,
did not only purchase grace, and remission of sins, for his elect,
with their eternal glory; but did thereby also obtain of the Father
to be Lord, and head over all things, whether they be things in
heaven, or things on earth, or things under the earth. "All power,"
saith he, "is given unto me, in heaven and in earth, and I have
the keys of hell and of death" (Matt 28:18; Rev 1:18), So that
all things, I say, whether they be visible, or invisible, whether
they be thrones or dominions, or principalities or powers; all
things were created by him, and for him (Col 1:16). This being
thus, "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,--and that every
tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father" (Phil 2:10,11). Now, that this may be done, He
hath his resolutions upon a judgment-day, in which he, to shew
himself his people, his way, and word in their glory, will have
all his enemies raised out of their graves, and brought before
him, where he will sit upon them in the throne of his glory, and
will shew them then, "who is the blessed and only potentate, the
King of kings, and Lord of lords" (Matt 25:31,32; 1 Tim 6:14,15).

Behold, He comes, "with ten thousand of his saints, to execute
judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them
of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of
all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against
him" (Jude 14,15).

Fifth, The great preparation that God hath made for the judgment
of the wicked, doth clearly demonstrate their rising forth out
of their graves. 1. He hath appointed the day of their rising. 2.
He hath appointed their judge, to judge them. 3. He hath recorded
all their acts and doings against that day. 4. He hath also
already appointed the witnesses to come in against them. 5. The
instruments of death and misery, are already prepared for them.

1. He hath appointed the day of their rising, which day John calleth
the time of the dead, that they should be judged (Rev 11:18),
which time, Paul saith, is a time fixed; "He hath appointed a day
in which he will judge the world," &c. (Acts 17:31). This time and
day Christ brings down to an hour, saying, "The hour is coming,
in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and
shall come forth;" &c. (John 5:28,29).

2. As he hath appointed the day, so he hath appointed the judge,
"He hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in
righteousness, by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath
given assurance to all men, in that he hath raised him from the
dead" (Acts 17:31). This man is Jesus Christ; for it is he that
is "ordained of God to be the judge of quick an dead" (Acts 10:42).

3. All their deeds and works, to a word and thought, are every one
already recorded and enrolled in the books of the laws of heaven
against that day. "The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron,
and with the point of a diamond:--upon the table of their heart"
(Jer 17:1). And again saith God, "Write it--in a table, and note
it in a book, that it may be for the time to come, even for ever
and ever, that this is a rebellious people," &c. (Isa 30:8,9).

4. God hath prepared his witnesses against this day (James 5:1-3;
Job 20:27; Matt 24:14; Rom 2:14,15; Mal 3:5).

5. The instruments of death, and eternal misery, are already
prepared. "He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he
ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors" (Psa 7:13; 21:12).
Hell is of old prepared, he hath made it deep and large, the fire,
the everlasting fire, is also now of a long time prepared (Isa
30:33; Matt 25:41); the heavy weights of God's curse are also ready
(Deu 29:20) and their "damnation now of a long time slumbereth
not" (2 Peter 2:3). But now I say, how ridiculous a business would
all this be, if these things should be all prepared of the only
wise God, and there should be none to be judged; or if he that is
ordained judge, should not, either through want of power or will,
command these rebels, and force them before his judgment-seat.
Glad indeed, would the sinners be, if these things might be true;
glad I say, at very heart, if they might be in their secret places
of darkness, and the grave for ever; but it must not be; the day
of their rising is set; the judge is appointed; their deeds are
written; the deep dungeon is with open mouth ever waiting for
them; wherefore at the day appointed, neither earth, nor death,
nor hell can hinder: There shall be a resurrection of the dead,
both of the just and unjust.

Sixth and Lastly, Besides what hath been said, I cannot but
believe, there shall be a resurrection of the wicked at the last
day, because of the ungodly consequences, and errors that do most
naturally follow the denial thereof. For,

1. He that taketh away the doctrine of the resurrection of the
wicked; he taketh away one of the main arguments that God hath
provided for to convince a sinner of the evil of his ways; for
how shall a sinner be convinced of the evil of sin, if he be not
convinced of the certainty of eternal judgment? and how shall
he be convinced of eternal judgment, if you persuade him, that
when he is dead, he shall not at all rise? especially seeing the
resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment must unavoidably be
one the forerunner of the other (Heb 6:2). It was Paul's reasoning
of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come that made Felix
tremble (Acts 24:25). It is this also he calleth the argument
of terror, wherewith he persuaded men (2 Cor 5:10,11). This was
Solomon's argument (Eccl 11:9); and Christ's also, where he saith,
"that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account
thereof in the day of judgment" (Matt 12:36).

2. They that deny the resurrection of the wicked, they do both allow
and maintain the chief doctrine of the ranters, with most of the
debauched persons in the world. For the ranters deny it both in
principle and practice, and the other in practice at least. Now
to me it is very strange, that these men above all other, should
both know and live8 in the doctrines of the kingdom of God: especially
seeing the denial hereof is an evident token of one appointed to
wrath and destruction (2 Tim 2:18). But to be plain; there shall
be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust:
wherefore, whatever others may say or profess, being beguiled by
Satan, and their own hearts, yet do thou fear him that can "destroy
both soul and body in hell" (Matt 10:28).

There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and
unjust. "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death
and hell delivered up the dead which were in them" (Rev 20:13).

Having in the first place shewed you, that the wicked must arise;
I shall in the next place,

SECOND, Shew you the manner of their rising. And observe it, as
the very title of the just and unjust, are opposites, so they are
in all other matters, and in their resurrections.

MANNER OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE WICKED.

First then, as the just in their resurrection do come forth in
incorruption: the unjust in their resurrection, shall come forth in
their corruptions; for though the ungodly at their resurrection,
shall for ever after, be incapable of having body and soul separate;
or of their being annihilated into nothing, yet it shall be far from
them to rise in incorruption; for if they arise in incorruption,
they must arise to life, and also must have the conquest over sin
and death (1 Cor 15:45), but that they shall not; for it is the
righteous only, that put on incorruption, that are swallowed up
of life. The wicked's resurrection, it is called the resurrection
of damnation (John 5:28). These in their very resurrection, shall
be hurt of the second death. They shall arise in death, and shall
be under it, under the gnawings, and terrors of it, all the time
of their arraignment. As it were, a living death shall feed upon
them; they shall never be spiritually alive, nor yet absolutely
dead; but much after that manner, that natural death, and hell, by
reason of guilt, doth feed on him, that is going before the judge,
to receive his condemnation to the gallows. You know, though a
felon go forth of the jail, when he is going to the bar for his
arraignment, yet he is not out of prison, or out of his irons for
that; his fetters are still making a noise on his heels,9 and the
thoughts of what he is to hear by and by from the judge, is still
frighting and afflicting his heart; death, like some evil spirit
or ghost, doth continually haunt him, and playeth the butcher
continually in his soul and conscience, with frights and fears
about the thoughts of the sudden, and insupportable after-clap,
by and by he is to meet withal.

Thus I say, will the wicked come out of their graves, having yet
the chains of eternal death hanging on them, and the talons of
that dreadful ghost fastened in their souls; so that life will be
far from them, even as far as heaven is from hell. This morning
to them, is even as the shadow of death. They will then be in the
very terrors of the shadow of death (Job 24:17). As Christ saith,
"Their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:44).
From death to eternity, it never shall be quenched, their bed is
now among the flames; and when they rise, they will rise in flames;
while they stand before the judge, it will be in flames, even in
the flames of a guilty conscience; they will in their coming before
the judge, be within the very jaws of death and destruction. Thus
I say, the ungodly shall be far off from rising as the saints; for
they will be even in the region and shadow of death. The first
moment of their rising, death will be ever over them, ever feeding
on their souls; and ever presenting to their hearts, the heights
and depths, of the misery that now must seize them, and, like
a bottomless gulf, must swallow them up. "They shall move out of
their holes like worms of the earth: They shall be afraid of the
Lord our God" (Micah 7:17).

Second, As the resurrection of the godly shall be a resurrection in
glory: so the resurrection of the wicked, it will be a resurrection
in dishonour. Yea, as the glory of saints, at the day of their
rising, will be glory unspeakable; so the dishonour of the ungodly
at that day, it will be dishonour beyond expression. As Daniel
saith, the good shall rise to everlasting life, but the wicked
to shame and everlasting contempt (Dan 12:2). And again, "O Lord,
when thou awakest," that is, to judge them, "thou shalt despise
their image" (Psa 73:20). Never was toad or serpent more loathsome
to any, than these will be in the eyes of God, in their rising
forth of their graves. When they go to their graves, saith Job,
"His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down
with him in the dust" (Job 20:11). And arise they shall, in the same
noisome and stinking condition; for as death leaves, so judgment
finds them. At the resurrection then of these ungodly, they will
be in a very loathsome condition.

The ungodly at their death are like the thistle seed, but at
their rising, they will be like the thistle grown; more noisome,
offensive, and provoking to rejection abundance.10

Then such dishonour, shame, and contempt will appear in them, that
neither God nor Christ, saints nor angels, will so much as once
regard them, or vouchsafe once to come near them. "He beholdeth
the wicked afar off;" because in the day of grace, they would
not come to hand, and be saved, therefore now they shall, all as
thorns, be thrust away, as with fences of iron (2 Sam 23:6,7),
Their rising, is called the resurrection of the unjust, and so
they at that day will appear, and will more stink in the nostrils
of God, and all the heavenly hosts, than if they had the most
irksome plague-sores in the world running on them. If a man at his
birth, be counted as one cast forth to the loathing of his person;
how loathsome, and irksome, dishonourable, and contemptible, will
those be that shall arise Godless, Christless, Spiritless, and
graceless, when the trumpet sounds to their judgment, they coming
out of their graves, far more loathsome, and filthy, than if they
should ascend out of the most filthy hole on earth.

Third, As the just shall arise in power, so the wicked and unjust,
in weakness and astonishment. Sin and guilt bringeth weakness, and
faintness in this life; how much more, when both with all their
power and force, like a giant, fasten on them; as God saith, "Can
thine heart endure, or can thine hands be strong, in the days that
I shall deal with thee?" (Eze 22:14). Now will the ghastly jaws
of despair gape upon thee, and now will condemnings of conscience,
like thunder-claps, continually batter against thy weary spirit.
It is the godly that have boldness in the day of judgment (1
John 4:17); but the wicked will be like the chaff which the wind
driveth away (Psa 1:4). Oh the fear, and the heart-aching that
will seize them in their rising! the frightful thoughts that then
will fill their throbbing hearts! Now must that soul that hath
been in hell-fire among the devils possess the body again. Possess
it, I say, with the hot scalding stink of hell upon it. They shall
not be able to lift up the head for ever; pangs shall take hold
on them, all their hands shall faint, and every man's heart shall
melt; "They shall be amazed one at another, their faces shall be
as flames" (Isa 13:6-8). Everything they see, hear, or think of,
shall tend to their discomfort. They must needs be weak, whom God
hath left, whom guilt hath seized, and whom death is swallowing
up for ever.

Fourth, As the just shall arise spiritual bodies, so the unjust shall
arise only as mere and naked lumps of sinful nature; not having
the least help from God, to bear them up under this condition.
Wherefore, so soon as ever they are risen out of their graves;
they will feel a continual sinking under every remembrance of every
sin, and thoughts of judgment; in their rising they fall--fall,
I say, from thenceforth, and for ever. And for this reason the
dungeon into which they fall is called "bottomless" (Rev 20:1).
Because, as there will be no end of their misery, so there will
be no stay or prop to bear them up in it. Only, as I said before,
they shall not now, as afore, be separate body from soul; but
both together, be bound in the cords of sin and iniquity, in which
they shall now tremble as thieves and murderers, &c., as they go
before the Judge, to hear what he will say unto them.

[THIRD--The examination and judgment of the wicked.]--Now, when the
wicked are thus raised out of their graves, they shall, together
with all the angels of darkness, their fellow-prisoners, be brought
up, being shackled in their sins, to the place of judgment; where
there shall sit upon them Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord
of lords, the Lord Chief Judge of things in heaven, and things in
earth, and things under the earth. On whose right hand, and left,
shall sit all the princes, and heavenly nobles; the saints and
prophets, the apostles and witnesses of Jesus; every one in his
kingly attire, upon the throne of his glory (Joel 3:11-14). Then
shall be fulfilled that which is written, "But those mine enemies,
which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and
slay them" (Luke 19:27).

[THE JUDGMENT OF THE WICKED.]

When every one is thus set in his proper place, the Judge on his
throne, with his attendants, and the prisoners coming up to judgment,
forthwith there shall issue forth a mighty fire and tempest from
before the throne, which shall compass it round about; which
fire, shall be as bars and bounds to the wicked, to keep them at
a certain distance from the heavenly Majesty. As David saith, "Our
God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour
before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him"
(Psa 50:3). And again, "His throne was like the fiery flame, and
his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth
from before him;" &c. (Dan 7:9,10).

This preparation being made, to wit, the Judge with his attendants,
on the throne; the bar for the prisoners, and the rebels all
standing with ghastly jaws, to look of what comes after: presently
the books are brought forth, to wit, the books both of death and
life; and every one of them opened before the sinners, now to be
judged and condemned. For after that he had said before, "A fiery
stream issued and came forth from before him": he adds, "Thousand
thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand
stood before him: the judgment was set, and the book was opened"
(Dan 7:10). And again, "I saw a great white throne, and him that
sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away;
and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small
and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and
another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead
were judged out of those things which were written in the books,
according to their works" (Rev 20:11,12).

He doth not say, the book was opened, as of one, but the books, as
of many. And indeed, they are more than one, two, or three, out
of which the dead shall in the judgment be proceeded against.

First then, there is the book of the creatures to be opened. Second,
The book of God's remembrance. Third, The book of the law. And
fourth, the book of life. For by every one of these, that is, out
of what is written in them, shall the world of the ungodly be
judged.

"And the books were opened."

First, The book of the creatures shall be opened, and that first,
it concerns man's nature; and next, as it relates to all other
creatures.

I. He will shew in what the principles of nature were, as they
were God's creation; and how contrary to these principles, the
world have walked, acted, and done. The principles of nature are
concluded under three general heads.

1. That man by his own natural reason and judgment may gather, that
there is a God, a Deity, a chief, or first, or principal Being,
who is over all, and supreme above all. This instinct, I say, man
merely as he is a rational creature findeth in himself; and hence
it is, that all heathens that mind their own natural reason, do
conclude, that we are his offspring; that is, His creation and
workmanship. That He made heaven and earth, and hath made of one
blood, all nations of men; that "in him we live, and move, and
have our being;" &c. (Acts 17:24-29).

It appears further, that man by his own nature, doth know that
there is such a God.

(1.) By his being able to judge by nature, that there is such
a thing as sin; as Christ saith, "Why even of yourselves judge
ye not what is right?" (Luke 12:57). As if he had said, You are
degenerated even from the principles of nature, and right reason;
as Paul saith in another place, "Doth not even nature itself teach
you?" (1 Cor 11:14). Now he that can judge, that there is such a
thing as sin, it must of necessity be, that he understandeth that
there is a God, to whom sin is opposite; for if there be no God,
there is no sin against him; and he that knows not the one, knows
not the other.

(2.) It is evident further, that man by nature knows that there is
a God, by those fits of fear, and dread that are often begotten
in themselves, even in every man that breatheth in this world;
for they are by their own consciences, and thoughts, convicted
and reproved, judged and condemned, though they know neither Moses
nor Christ--For the Gentiles which have not the law, these are a
law to themselves, and shew the work of the law written in their
hearts (Rom 2:14,15)--that is, by this very thing, they hold forth
to all men, that God created them in that state and quality, that
they might in and by their own nature, judge and know that there is
a God. And it further sheweth itself, saith he, by those workings
of heart, convictions of conscience, and accusations, that
every thought maketh within them, together with the fear that is
begotten in them, when they transgress, or do those things that
are irrational, or contrary to what they see they shall do. I
might add further, that the natural proneness that is in all men
to devotion and religion, that is, of one kind or another, doth
clearly tell us, that they by the book of nature, which book is
themselves, do read that there is one great and eternal God.

2. The second principle of nature is, that this God should by man
be sought after, that they might enjoy communion with him for
ever. As I said before, the light of nature sheweth man, that there
is a great God, even God that made the world; and the end of its
shewing him this is, that "they should seek the Lord, if haply
they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from
every one of us" (Acts 17:27).

3. This light of nature teacheth, that men between themselves,
should do that which is just and equal. As Moses said, and that
long before the law was given, "Sirs, ye are brethren, why do ye
wrong one another?" (Acts 7:26; Exo 2:13). as who should say, You
are of equal creation, you are the same flesh; you both judge,
that it is not equally done of any, to do you wrong, and therefore
ought to judge by the same reason, that ye ought not to wrong one
another.

Now against every one of these three principles, hath every man in
the whole world transgressed; as Paul saith, "For both Jews and
Gentiles--are all under sin" (Rom 3:9). For as touching the first,
(1.) who is he that hath honoured, reverenced, worshipped, and
adored the living God, to the height, both of what they saw in
him, and also according to the goodness and mercy they have as
men received from him? All have served and worshipped the creature
more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Rom 1:25), and
so have walked contrary to, and have sinned against, this bond of
nature, in this first principle of it.

(2.) Men, instead of minding their own future happiness, as nature
teacheth, they have, through their giving way to sin and Satan,
minded nothing less; for though reason teacheth all men to love
that which is good and profitable, yet they, contrary to this,
have loved that which is hurtful and destructive. Yea, though sense
teacheth to avoid the danger that is manifest; yet man, contrary
to reason and sense both, even all men, have both against light
and feeling, rejected their own happiness; as Paul saith, "Who
knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things
are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in
them that do them" (Rom 1:31).

(3.) Man, instead of doing equity, and as he would be done by,
which nature itself teacheth: he hath given up himself to vile
affections, being filled, by refusing the dictates of nature,
"with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness,
maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity;
whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters,
inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding,
covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful"
(Rom 1:29-31).

And observe it, he doth not say, that all these things are by every
man put into practice; but every man hath all these in his heart,
which there defile the soul, and make it abominable in the sight
of God. They are filled with all unrighteousness, which also appears,
as occasion serveth, sometimes one of them, sometimes more. Now,
man having sinned against that natural light, judgment, reason,
and conscience, that God hath given him; therefore, though as I
said before, he neither knew Moses nor Christ, yet he shall perish.
"As many," saith Paul, "as have sinned without law, shall also
perish without law" (Rom 2:12).

Yea, here will man be found not only a sinner against God, but an
opposer of himself, a contradictor of his own nature, and one that
will not do that which he judgeth even of himself to be right (2
Tim 2:25). Their sin is written upon the tables of their own heart
(Jer 17:1), and their own wickedness and backsliding shall both
correct and reprove them (Jer 2:19).

It is marvellous, if we consider, how curious a creature man was made
of God; to behold how much below, besides, and against that state
and place, man acts and does in this state of sin and degeneracy.
Man in his creation was made in the image of God (Gen 1:26), but
man, by reason of his yielding to the tempter, hath made himself
the very figure and image of the devil. Man by creation was made
upright and sinless; but man by sin, hath made himself crooked
and sinful (Eccl 7:29). Man by creation had all the faculties of
his soul at liberty to study God his creator, and his glorious
attributes and being; but man by sin, hath so bound up his own
senses and reason; and hath given way for blindness and ignorance
of God, so to reign in his soul; that now he is captivated and
held bound in alienation and estrangedness both from God, and all
things truly spiritually good; "Because," saith he, "that when
they knew God, they glorified him not as God,--but became vain
in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened"
(Rom 1:21). And again, "Having the understanding darkened, being
alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in
them, because of the blindness of their hearts" (Eph 4:18).

Now, for this abuse of the workmanship of God, shall man be brought
forth to the judgment, shall be convicted, cast, and condemned as
a rebel, against both God and his own soul, as Paul affirmeth,
and that when he reasoned but as a man (Rom 3:5,6).

When this part of the book touching man's nature is opened, and
man convicted and cast by it, by reason of his sinning against
the three general principles thereof:

II. Then forthwith is the second part of the book opened, which
is the mystery of the creatures; for the whole creation, that
is before thee, are not only made to shew the power of God in
themselves; but also to teach thee, and to preach unto thee, both
much of God and thyself; as also the righteousness, and justice
of God against sin; "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold
the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of
God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For
the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even
his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse"
(Rom 1:18-20).

1. The creation then of the world, namely, of the heavens, earth,
sun, moon, stars, with all other the creatures of God: they preach
aloud to all men, the eternal power and Godhead of their Creator
(Psa 8:3). In wisdom he hath made them all (Psa 104:24): to be
teachable, and carrying instruction in them; and he that is wise,
and will understand these things, even he shall understand the
loving-kindness of the Lord; for "the works of the Lord are great,
sought out of all them that have pleasure therein" (Psa 107;
111:2).

2. As the creation in general preacheth to every man something of
God; so they do hold forth, how man should behave himself both to
God, and one to another; and will assuredly come in, in the judgment,
against all those that shall be found crossers, and thwarters of
what God by the creatures doth hold forth to us.

(1.) As First, The obedience of the creatures, both to God and
thee. (a.) To God, they are all in subjection (set devils and men
aside) even the very dragons, and all deeps, fire, hail, snow,
and vapours (Psa 148:7,8), fulfilling his word. Yea, the winds
and seas obey him (Mark 4:41). Thus, I say, by their obedience to
God they teach thee obedience, and by their obedience shall thy
disobedience be condemned in the judgment (Psa 147:15-18). (b.)
Their obedience to thee, also teacheth thee obedience to all
superiors; for every kind of beasts, and of birds, and serpents,
and things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed, and brought
into obedience by mankind. Man only remains untamed and unruly,
and therefore by these is condemned (James 3:7,8).

(2.) The fruitfulness of all the creatures in their kind, doth
teach and admonish thee to a fruitful life to Godward, and in the
things of his holy word. God did but say in the beginning, Let
the earth bring forth fruit, grass, herbs, trees, beasts, creeping
things, and cattle after their kind; and it was so (Gen 1:24).
But to man, he hath sent his prophets, rising early, and sending
them, saying, "O do not this abominable thing that I hate" (Jer
44:4). but they will not obey. For if the Gentiles, which have not
the law, do, by some acts of obedience, condemn the wickedness of
those who do by the letter and circumcision, break the law: how
much more shall the fruitfulness of all the creatures come in,
in the judgment, against the whole world! As Job saith, By the
obedience and fruitfulness of the creatures he judgeth, and so will
judge, the people (Job 36:27-32).

(3.) The knowledge and wisdom of the creatures, do with a check,
command thee to be wise, and do teach thee wisdom. The stork in
the heaven, the swallow and the crane, by observing the time and
season of their coming, do admonish thee to learn the time of
grace, and of the mercy of God (Jer 8:7). The ox and the ass, by
the knowledge they have of their master's crib, do admonish thee
to know the bread and table of God, and both do and shall condemn
thy ignorance of the food of heaven (Isa 1:3).

(4.) The labour and toil of the creatures doth convict thee of
sloth and idleness. "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her
ways, and be wise;" for she provideth her food in the summer, and
layeth up against the day of trial (Prov 6:6,7). But thou spendest
the whole summer of thy life in wasting both time and soul. All
things are full of labour, saith Solomon (Eccl 1:8), only man
spendeth all the day idle (Matt 20:6), and his years like a tale
that is told (Psa 90:9; Rom 10:21). The coney is but a feeble
folk, yet laboureth for a house in the rock, to be safe from the
rage of the hunter (Prov 30:26).

The spider also, taketh hold with her hands, and is in king's palaces
(Prov 30:28). It is man only that turneth himself upon the bed of
sloth, as the door doth itself upon the hinges. 'Tis man, I say,
that will neither lay hold on the rock Christ, as the coney doth
teach, nor lay hold on the kingdom of heaven, as the spider doth
bid him (John 5:40).

(5.) The fear that is in all creatures, when they perceive that
danger is near, it teacheth men to fly from the wrath to come,
"In vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird" (Prov 1:17),
but man, man only is the fool-hardy creature, that lieth wait for
his own blood, and that lurketh privily for his own life. How I
say, will every creature fly, run, strive, and struggle to escape
the danger it is sensible of! 'Tis man only that delighteth to
dance about the mouth of hell, and to be knowingly smitten with
Satan's snare (Rom 1:32).

(6.) The dependence that all the creatures have upon God; they
teach thee to depend on him that made thee; yea, and will in the
judgment condemn thee for thy unlawful practices, and dealings for
thy preservation. The young ravens seek their food from God (Psa
147:9; Job 38:41), and will condemn thy lying, cheating, overreaching,
defrauding, and the like. They provide neither storehouse, nor
barn (Luke 12:24); but thou art so greedy of these things, that
thou for them shuttest thyself out of the kingdom of heaven (Prov
17:16).

(7.) The love and pity that is in their hearts to their young,
and one another: will judge and condemn the hard-heartedness that
is in thee to thy own soul. What shall I say? "The heaven shall
reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him" (Job
20:27). That is, all the creatures of God, they will, by their
fruitfulness and subjection to the will of their Creator, judge
and condemn thee for thy disobedience, and rebellion against him.

3. Now, as these creatures do every day call unto thee, and lay
before thee these things: so he hath for thy awakening, in case
thou be asleep, and senseless, creatures of another nature; as,

(1.) Thy bed, when thou liest down in it, preacheth to thee thy
grave; thy sleep, thy death; and thy rising in the morning, thy
resurrection to judgment (Job 14:12; 17:13; Isa 26:19).

(2.) The jail that thou seest with thine eyes, and the felons that
look out at the grate, they put thee in mind of the prison of hell,
and of the dreadful state of those that are there (Luke 12:58,59).

(3.) The fire that burns in thy chimney, it holds forth the fire
of hell unto thee (Isa 10:16; Rev 20:14).

(4.) The ugly smell, stench, and steam, of the burning brimstone,
it shews thee the loathsome, odious, and dreadful torments of hell
(Rev 19:20).

(5.) The darkness of the night in solitary places, and the fears
that do commonly haunt those that walk therein: it preacheth to
thee the fears and frights, the scares and amazements, that will
for ever attend all damned souls (Matt 8:12; Deu 28:65-67).

(6.) By thy delighting, when thou art cold, to lay sticks on the
fire to warm thyself, not caring how fiercely they flame therein,
so thou canst be warm and be refreshed thereby, by this, I say,
God preacheth to thee, with what delight he will burn sinners in
the flames of hell, for the easing of his mind, and the satisfaction
of his justice. "Ah," saith he, "I will ease me of mine adversaries,
and avenge me of mine enemies" (Isa 1:24).

(4.) Yea, by thy blowing the fire, that it may fasten upon the wood
the better; thou preachest to thyself how God will blow the fire
of hell by the rigour of his law, to the end, it may by its flames,
to purpose, kindle upon damned sinners (Isa 30:33).

All these things, as inconsiderable and unlikely as they may appear to
you now, yet in the judgment will be found the items, and warning
words of God to your souls. And know, that he who could overthrow
the land of Egypt with frogs, lice, flies, locusts, &c., will
overthrow the world, at the last day, by the book of the creatures;
and that by the least and most inconsiderable of them, as well as
by the rest. This book of the creatures, it is so excellent, and
so full, so easy, and so suiting the capacity of all, that there
is not one man in the world but is catched, convicted, and cast
by it. This is the book, that he who knows no letters may read
in; yea, and that he who neither saw New Testament, nor Old, may
know both much of God, and himself by. 'Tis this book, out of which
generally, both Job and his friends did so profoundly discourse
of the judgments of God; and that out of which God himself did so
convincingly answer Job. Job was as perfect in this book, as we
are, many of us in the scriptures; yea, and could see further by
it, than many now adays do see by the New Testament and Old. This
is the book out of which, both Christ, the prophets, and apostles,
do so frequently discourse by their similitudes, proverbs, and
parables, as being the most easy way to convince the world, though
by reason of their ignorance, nothing will work with them, but
what is set on their heart by the Holy Ghost.

One word further, and I have done with this, and that is, God hath
sealed the judgment of the world by the book of the creatures;
even by man's own carriage unto such of them, which, through any
impediment, have disappointed his expectations. As thus: if thou
hast but a tree in thy orchard, that neither beareth fruit, nor
aught else that is good; why, thou art for hewing it down, and
for appointing it, as fuel for the fire. Now thou little thinkest
that by thy thus judging thou shouldst pass sentence upon thy own
fruitless soul; but it is so; "And now also the axe is laid unto
the root of the trees, therefore every tree which bringeth not
forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire." For as
truly as thou sayest of thy fruitless tree, Cut it down, why doth
it cumber the ground? so truly doth thy voice cause heaven to echo
again upon thy head, Cut him down; why doth he cumber the ground?
(Matt 3:10; Luke 13:6-8; Eze 15:1-6).11

Further, the inclination of thy heart towards fruitless and
unprofitable creatures, doth fore-preach to thee, the inclination
of the heart of God towards thee in the judgment. If thou hast
either cow, or any other beast, that is now unprofitable to thee,
though thou mayst suffer them for some time to be with thee, as
God suffereth sinners in the world, yet all this while thy heart
is not with them, but thou wilt take thy time to clear thy hands
of them. Why, just so shall thy judgment be, as God saith, "Though
Moses and Samuel stood before me," that is, to pray me to spare this
people, "yet my mind could not be towards this people: cast them
out of my sight, and let them go forth" (Jer 15:1; Eze 14:13,14).

Thus I say, will God judge the world at the last day; he will open
before them, how they have degenerated and gone back from the
principles of nature in which he created them. Also how they have
slighted all the instructions that he hath given them, even by the
obedience, fruitfulness, wisdom, labour, fear, and love of the
creatures; and he will tell them, that as to their judgment, they
themselves have decided it, both by their cutting down that which
was fruitless, and by the withdrawing of their hearts from those
things, which to them were unprofitable, "As therefore the tares
are gathered, and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end
of the world." As men deal with weeds, and rotten wood: so will
God deal with sinners in the day of judgment: and will bring in,
I say, all the counsels and warnings he hath given men by these
things, both to clear up and to aggravate their judgment to them.

Second. The second book that will be opened at this day, it will
be the book of God's remembrance (Mal 3:16). For as God hath in
his remembrance, recorded all and every particular good thing that
his own people hath done to, and for his name while they were in
this world: so he hath in his remembrance, recorded all the evil
and sin of his adversaries, even everything (Eccl 12:14). Now
God's remembrance is so perfect every way, that it is impossible
that anything should be lost, that is committed to it to be kept,
and brought forth to the judgment at the time appointed; for as
a thousand years are but as yesterday, with his eternity: so the
sins that have been committed thousands of years since, they are
all so firmly fixed in the remembrance of the eternal God, that
they are always as fresh and clear in his sight, as if they were
but just now in committing. He calleth again the things that are
past (Eccl 3:15), and hath set "our [most] secret sins in the
light of his countenance" (Psa 90:8). As he also saith in another
place, "Hell [itself] is naked before him, and destruction hath
no covering" (Job 26:6), that is, the most secret, cunning, and
hidden contrivances of the most subtle of the infernal spirits,
which yet are far more slethy,12 than men, to hide their wickedness;
yet, I say, all their ways, hearts, and most secret doings, are
clear, to the very bottom of them, in the eyes of the great God.
All things are open and bare before the eyes of him with whom we
have to do; who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness,
and will make manifest the counsels of the heart (Heb 4:13; 1 Cor
4:5).

"Ye that say, The Lord shall not see, neither shall the God of
Jacob regard it. Understand, [O] ye brutish among the people: and
ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall
he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? he that
chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man
knowledge, shall not he know?" (Psa 94:8-10; Hosea 7:2; 8:13). "Can
any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?"--that
is, when he is committing wickedness--"saith the Lord: Do not I
fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (Jer 23:24).

Now to know and see things, it is the cause among men of their
remembrance. Wherefore, God to shew us, that he will remember all
our sins if we die out of Christ, he tells us, that he knoweth,
and seeth them all, and therefore must needs remember them; for
as is his sight and knowledge, so is his remembrance of all things.

When this book of his remembrance therefore is opened, as it shall
be, in the judgment, then shall be brought forth of their hidden
holes, all things, whatsoever hath been done since the world
began, whether by kingdoms in general, or persons in particular.
Now also shall be brought forth to open view, all the transactions
of God and his Son, among the sons of men, and everything shall
be applied to every particular person, in equity and justice,
to whom they belong: the sins that thou hast committed shall be
thy own, and thou thyself shalt bear them. "The Lord is a God of
knowledge, and by him actions are weighed" (1 Sam 2:3).

It will be marvellous to behold how by thousands, and ten thousands,
God will call from their secret places, those sins, that one would
have thought, had been dead, and buried, and forgotten; yea, how
he will shew before the sun, such things, so base and so horrid,
that one would think, it was not in the hearts of any to commit;
for all is recorded in the book of God's remembrance. While men
are here, they have a thousand tricks to present themselves one to
another, far more fair, and honest than they are, or ever were. As
Christ said to the Pharisees, "Ye are they which justify yourselves
before men: but God knoweth your hearts" (Luke 16:15): Ay, God
knoweth, indeed, what a nest, what a heap, what swarms; yea, what
legions of hellish wickednesses, there are with power lurking,
like cockatrices, in those men, that one would swear a thousand
times, are good and honest men. The way of men in their sins, it
is like "an eagle in the air, the way of a serpent upon a rock, the
way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with
a maid," saith Solomon (Prov 30:19), that is, hiddenly, closely,
covertly, burying all under fair pretences, wipeth their mouths
in the close of their evil, saying, "I have done [no] wickedness"
(Prov 30:20).

But this, though it may serve for the time present, and no longer,
God will not be deluded, nor blinded, nor mocked, nor put off (Gal
6:7). "They consider not--that I remember all their wickedness"
(Hosea 7:2); saith he, "but I will reprove thee, and set them in
order before thine eyes" (Psa 50:21). Here will be laid open the
very heart of Cain the murderer, of Judas the traitor, of Saul the
adversary of David, and of those that under pretences of holiness
have persecuted Christ, his word, and people. Now shall every
drunkard, whoremaster, thief, and other wicked person, be turned
their inside outward; their hearts right open, and every sin,
with every circumstance of place, time, person with whom, with
the causes also that drew them to the commission of every evil,
be discovered to all. Here will be no hiding yourselves behind
curtains, nor no covering yourselves with the black and dark night.
"If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall
be light about me: Yea," O God, "darkness hideth not from thee;
but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are
both alike to thee" (Psa 139:11,12).

The piercing eye of God, beholds all places, persons, and things;
the holy hand of his justice writeth them down in the book of his
remembrance; and by his power and wisdom, will he open and read
to all men exactly, distinctly, and convincingly, whatever hath
passed from them, or been done by them, in their whole life; for,
"For all these things God will bring thee into judgment" (Eccl
11:9). Again, as God will bring out of the book of his remembrance,
whatever hath passed from thee against him; so also will he then
bring forth by the same book, all things and carriages of his
towards thee.

Here will he bring to thy mind, every sermon thou hast heard,
every chapter thou hast read; every conviction thou hast had on
thy conscience; and every admonition that hath been given thee in
all thy life, when thou wast in the land of the living.

Now will God lay open before thee, what patience he extended to
thee, how he let thee live one year, two years, ten, yea, twenty
and twenty years, 13 and all to try thee. Yea, now also will he
bring to thy view, how many times he warned, rebuked, threatened,
and chastised thee for thy wickedness; how many awakening providences
and judgments he continually laid before thy face; yea, how many
a time thou didst, like Balaam, run upon the point of the sword
of justice, and how he gave back, as being loath to kill thee (Num
22:23-34).

Now also again, shall be brought before thee and all men, how many
strugglings God had with thy heart, on thy sick-bed, to do thee good;
yea, and at such times, how many vows, promises, engagements, and
resolutions thou madest before God, to turn, if he would release
thee from thy affliction, and take off his rod from thy back; and
yet, how thou didst, like the man possessed (Mark 5:1-5), break
and snap in twain all these chains of iron, with which thou hadst
bound thy soul, and that for a very lust and sin. Here also, will
be opened before thee, how often thou hath sinned against thy light
and knowledge; how often thou hast laid violent hands on thy own
conscience; how often thou hast laboured to put out that light
that hath stood in thy way to hinder thee from sinning against
thy soul. Ah, Lord, what a condition will the Christless soul be
in at this day! how will every one of these things afflict the
damned soul! They will pierce like arrows, and bite like serpents,
and sting like an adder. With what shame, will that man stand before
the judgment-seat of Christ who must have all things he hath done
against God, to provoke the eyes of his glory to jealousy, laid
open before the whole host of the heavenly train! It would make a
man blush to have his pockets searched, for things that are stolen in
the midst of a market, especially, if he stand upon his reputation
and honour. But thou must have thy heart searched, the bottom of
thy heart searched; and that, I say, before thy neighbour whom
thou hast wronged, and before the devils whom thou hast served;
yea, before God, whom thou hast despised, and before the angels,
those holy and delicate creatures, whose holy and chaste faces
will scarce forbear blushing, while God is making thee vomit up,
all thou hast swallowed; for God shall bring it out of thy belly
(Job 20:12-15).

For as for God to forget iniquity, is one of the chief heads of the
covenant of grace, and is an argument of the highest nature, to
beget and to continue consolation in the godly: so the remembrance
of iniquity, by the Lord, it is one of the heaviest loads and
judgments, that can befall any poor creature. "Lord," saith the
prophet, "remember not against us former iniquities." And again,
"If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall
stand?" (Psa 130:3). And the reason is, because, that which the
Lord forgetteth, is forgiven for ever (Heb 8:12; Rom 4:6-8); but
that which he remembereth, it is charged for ever, and nothing
can take it away--"Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee
much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord
God" (Jer 2:22).

Third. The third book that will at this day be opened, and out
of which God will judge the world: it is the book of the law, or
ten words given forth on the Mount Sinai. But this book will more
specially concern those that have received it, or that have had
knowledge thereof. Every one shall not be judged by this book, as
there delivered, though they shall be judged by the works of it,
which are written in their hearts. "As many as have sinned without
law, shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned
in the law, shall be judged by the law" (Rom 2:12). That is, the
heathens that never knew the law, as delivered on Sinai, they
shall be judged by the law, as it was written in man's heart in
his creation, which is comprised within the book of the creatures,
but those that have knowledge of the law, as delivered on Sinai:
they shall be judged by the law as there given.

Now then, this book when it is opened at the day of judgment, it
will to those to whom it especially relates, be a most terrible
law, far surpassing the two afore-mentioned. This law, as I may
so say, it is the chief and most pure resemblance of the justice
and holiness of the heavenly majesty, and doth hold forth to all
men the sharpness and keenness of his wrath above the other two
that I have before mentioned. I say, both because it hath been
delivered more plain and open, both as to the duty enjoined, and
the sin prohibited; and therefore must of necessity, fall with
the more violence upon the head of all that shall be found within
the compass of it. This law, it hath in it to be opened at this
day, these two general heads:

1. A discovery of the evil of sin, that is so, against plain light
and truth; and, secondly, a discovery of the vanity of all things,
that will at this day be brought by sinners for their help and plea
at the judgment. Alas, who can but imagine, that the poor world,
at the day of their arraignment, should muster up all that ever
they can think of, as arguments to shelter them from the execution
of that fierce wrath, that then, with sinking souls, they will
see prepared for them.

As to the first of these, the apostle tells us that "the law entered,
that the offence might abound" (Rom 5:20), or be discovered what
it is. As he saith again, "I had not known sin, but by the law"
(Rom 7:7,13). Thus it is in this life, and thus it will be in
the day of judgment, that is, those that see sin, and that in its
abounding nature, and in its exceeding sinfulness, they must see
it by the law, for that is indeed the glass by which God discovereth
sin, and the filthy spots of leprosy, that are in the soul (James
1:22-25). Now those that have not the happiness to see their sin by
the law in this life, while there is a fountain of grace to wash
in, and be clean; they must have the misery to see it at the judgment,
when nothing is left but misery and pain, as the punishment for
the same. At which day, those little tittles of this holy law, that
now men so easily look over, and sin against with ease, they will
every one of them appear with such dread, and with such flaming
justice against every offence committed; that if heaven and earth
itself, should step in to shelter the sinner from the justice and
wrath due to sin, it would turn them up by the roots. "It is easier
for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail"
(Luke 16:17). If there appeared such flames, such thunderings,
and tempests, as there were at the giving of the law; what flames
and blackness will there appear at the execution thereof! And
if at the giving of the law there appeared so much holiness and
justice, that it made all Israel fly; yea, holy Moses "exceedingly
fear and quake," what will become of these that God shall judge
by the rigour of this law in the day of judgment? (Exo 19:16; Heb
12:21).

O what thunderings and lightnings, what earthquakes and tempests,
will there be in every damned soul, at the opening of this book?
Then, indeed, will God visit them "with thunder, and with earthquake,
and great noise, with storm and tempest, and the flame of devouring
fire" (Isa 29:6). "For behold," saith the prophet, "the Lord will
come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render
his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire" (Isa
66:15).

The Lord will come with fire, that is, in the flaming heat of his
justice and holiness against sin, and sinners, to execute the
rigour of his threatenings upon their perishing souls.

2. The second general head, that is contained in this law, to be
opened at this day is, its exactness, and purity, and strictness as
to all acts of good that any poor creature hath done in this life,
whereby he in the judgment will think to shelter, or secure himself
from the wrath of God. This is the rule, and line, and plummet,
whereby every act of every man shall be measured (Rom 3:21,22);
and he whose righteousness is not found every way answerable to
this law, which all will fall short of, but they that have the
righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ: he must perish, as
he saith, "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness
to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters shall overflow the hiding place" (Isa 28:17). That
is, though men may not shelter themselves under legal repentance,
cold profession, good meaning, thinkings, and doings: yet all these
things must be measured, and weighed in the balance of God's most
righteous law: and, as I said, whatever in that day is not found
the righteousness of God, it will be found a refuge of lies, and
will be drowned by the overflowing of the wrath of God, as the
waters of Noah overflowed the world. And hence it is that all the
ungodly will at this day, be found as stubble, and the law as fire
(Mal 4:1). As it saith, "From his right hand went a fiery law"
(Deu 33:2). And again, "His lips are full of indignation, and
his tongue as a devouring fire" (Isa 30:27). For as fire, where
it seizeth, doth burn, eat, destroy, devour and consume: so will
the law, all those that at this day, shall be found under the
transgression of the least tittle of it. It will be with these
souls at the day of judgment, as it is with those countries that
are overrun with most merciless conquerors, who leave not anything
behind them, but swallow up all with fire and sword. "For by fire,
and by his sword, will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the
slain of the Lord shall be many" (Isa 66:16). There are two things
at the day of judgment, will meet in their height and utmost
strength, and they are sin and the law; for the judgment will not
be, till the iniquity of the world be full ripe (Joel 3:13; Rev
14:15-20).

Now then, when sin is come to its full, having played all its pranks,
and done all the mischief it can against the Lord of glory: then
God brings forth the law, his holy and righteous law, one of which
will now reign for ever, that is, either the law or sin: wherefore
sin and sinners, they must tremble, with all that help, and hold
them up; for God "will magnify the law, and make it honourable"
(Isa 42:21). That is, will give it the victory over the world for
ever; for that is holy, just, and good; they are unholy, unjust,
and bad. Therefore by this law "the Lord shall rain snares, fire,
and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion
of their cup" (Psa 11:6). Let no man say then, that because God
is so famous in his mercy and patience, in this day of his grace,
that therefore he will not be fierce, and dreadful in his justice,
in the day of judgment; for judgment and justice, are the last
things that God intends to bring upon the stage, which will then
be to the full, as terrible, as now his goodness and patience,
and long-sufferance are admirable. Lord, "who knoweth the power
of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath" (Psa
90:11).

You may see, if you will, a few of the sparks of the justice of
God against sin and sinners. By his casting off angels for sin,
from heaven to hell; by his drowning the old world; by his burning
of Sodom and Gomorrah, to ashes; condemning them with an overthrow,
making them an example to those that after should live ungodly (2
Peter 2:4-6; Jude 6,7).

For "what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are
under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world
may become guilty before God" (Rom 3:19).

Moses seems to wonder, that the children of Israel could continue to
live, when they did but hear the law delivered on the mountain--"Did
ever people," saith he, "hear the voice of God speaking out of
the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?" (Deu 4:33).
O that ye did but know the law, and the wondrous things that are
written therein, before the Lord cause that fearful voice to be
heard--"Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that
are written in the book of the law to do them" (Gal 3:10); which
curse must fall on all that walk not in all the commandments of
God without iniquity (Eze 33:15); which none do, I say, but they
that walk in Christ, who hath alone fulfilled them all (Col 2:10).

The law is that which standeth at the entrance of the paradise of
God, as a flaming sword, turning every way to keep out those that
are not righteous with the righteousness of God (Gen 3:24); that
have not skill to come to the throne of grace by that new and
living way which he hath consecrated for us through the veil; that
is to say, his flesh (Heb 10:20), for though this law, I say, be
taken away by Christ Jesus, for all that truly and savingly believe
(Col 2:14); yet it remains in full force and power, in every tittle
of it, against every soul of man, that now shall be found in his
tabernacle, that is, in himself, and out of the Lord Jesus (Rom
3:19); it lieth, I say, like a lion rampant at the gates of heaven,
and will roar upon every unconverted soul, fiercely accusing every
one that now would gladly enter in through the gates into this
city (Job 18:14; John 5:45). So, then, he that can answer all its
most perfect and legal commands, and that can live in the midst of
devouring fire, and there enjoy God and solace himself, he shall
dwell on high, and shall not be hurt by this law--"His place
of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given
him; his waters shall be sure. Thine eyes shall see the king in
his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off" (Isa
33:16,17). Blessed then is he whose righteousness doth answer
every point of the law of God, according to 1 Corinthians 1:30 he
shall be able to escape all those things that shall come to pass,
and to stand before the Son of man; for in himself, our God is a
consuming fire, and man out of Christ, is but as stubble, chaff,
thorns, briars, and fuel for the wrath of this holy and sinner-consuming
God to seize upon for ever (Heb 12:29; Mal 4:1; Matt 3:12; Heb 6:8;
Isa 27:4; 2 Sam 23:6,7). "Who can stand before his indignation?
And who can abide the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured
out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him" (Nahum 1:6).

Now when these three books are thus opened, there will without
doubt, be sad throbbing and pricking, in every heart that now stands
for his life, before the judgment-seat of Christ, the righteous
Judge; and without all question, they will be studying a thousand
ways to evade and shift the stroke, that by the sin that these
three books do charge them with, will immediately fall upon them.

But now to cut off all these at a blow, forthwith appear the
witnesses, who are ready to evince, and make full and soul-killing
proof of every particular charged against them.

[First Witness.]--and the first is God himself. "I," saith he,
"will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the
adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that
oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless,
and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me,
saith the Lord of hosts" (Mal 3:5).

This must needs be of great sway with every soul, that God should
now come in. I will witness, saith God, that these things of which
you are accused before the Judge are true. I have seen all, know
all, and write down all. There hath not been a thought in your
heart, nor a word in your tongue, but I have known it altogether;
all things have always been open and naked to mine eye (Heb 4:13).
Yea, my eyelids try the children of men (Psa 11:4). I have known
your down-sitting, and your up-rising; and have understood your
thoughts afar off. I have compassed your path, and am well acquainted
with all your ways (Psa 139:1-3).

1. You have not continued in that state of nature in which I did
at first create you (Eccl 7:29); you have not liked to retain that
knowledge and understanding of God, that you had, and might have
had, by the very book of the creatures (Rom 1). You gave way to
the suggestions of fallen angels, and so your foolish hearts were
darkened and alienated, and estranged from God.

2. All the creatures that were in the world, have even condemned
you; they have been fruitful, but you fruitless; they have been
fearful of danger, but you foolhardy; they have taken the fittest
opportunity for their own preservation, but thou hast both blindly,
and confidently gone on to thy punishment (Prov 22:3).

3. Touching the book of my remembrance, who can contradict it?
Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. Was not I in all
places to behold, to see, and to observe thee in all thy ways? My
eye saw the thief, and the adulterer, and I heard every lie and
oath of the wicked. I saw the hypocrisy of the dissembler. "They
have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with
their neighbours' wives, and have spoken lying words in my name,
which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness,
saith the Lord" (Jer 29:23).

4. God will also come in against them for their transgressing his
law, even the law which he delivered on Mount Sinai; he will, I
say, open every tittle thereof in such order and truth: and apply
the breach of each particular person with such convincing argument,
that they will fall down silenced for ever--"Every mouth shall be
stopped, and all the world shall become guilty before God" (Rom
3:19).

[Second Witness.]--There is yet another witness, for the condemning
the transgressors of these laws, and that is, conscience--"Their
conscience also bearing witness," saith the apostle (Rom 2:15).
Conscience is a thousand witnesses. Conscience, it will cry amen to
every word that the great God doth speak against thee. Conscience
is a terrible accuser, it will hold pace with the witness of God
as to the truth of evidence, to a hair's breadth. The witnesses
of conscience, it is of great authority, it commands guilt,14
and fasteneth it on every soul which it accuseth; and hence it is
said, "If our heart [or conscience] condemn us" (1 John 3:20).
Conscience will thunder and lighten at this day; even the consciences
of the most pagan sinners in the world, will have sufficiently
wherewith to accuse, to condemn, and to make paleness appear in
their faces, and breaking in their loins, by reason of the force
of its conviction. Oh, the mire and dirt, that a guilty conscience,
when it is forced to speak, will cast up, and throw out before the
judgment-seat! It must out, none can speak peace, nor health, to
that man upon whom God hath let loose his own conscience. Cain
will now cry, "My punishment is greater than I can bear;" Judas
will hang himself; and both Belshazzar and Felix will feel the
joints of their loins to be loosened, and their knees to smite one
against another, when conscience stirreth (Gen 4:13; Matt 27:3;
Dan 5:6; Acts 24:23). When conscience is once thoroughly awakened,
as it shall be before the judgment-seat: God need say no more to
the sinner than Solomon said to filthy Shimei, "thou knowest all
the wickedness which thine heart is privy to" (1 Kings 2:44). As
who should say, Thy conscience knoweth, and can well inform thee
of all the evil, and sin that thou art guilty of. To all which
it answereth, even as face answereth to face in a glass; or as
an echo answereth the man that speaketh; as fast, I say, as God
chargeth conscience will cry out, Guilty, guilty; Lord, guilty of
all, of every whit; I remember clearly all the crimes thou layest
before me. Thus, I say, will conscience be a witness against the
soul, in the day of God.

[Third Witness.]--As God and conscience will at this day be most
dreadful witnesses against the sinful man; so also will those several
thoughts that have passed through man's heart, be a witness also
against him. As he said before, "Their conscience also baring witness,
and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one
another; In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by
Jesus Christ according to my gospel" (Rom 2:15,16).

The thoughts come in as a witness for God against the sinner upon
the account of that unsteadiness and variety that were in them,
both touching God, and their own selves. Sometimes the man thinks
there is no God, but that everything hath its rise of itself, or
by chance, or fortune--"The fool hath said in his heart, There is
no God" (Psa 14:1).

Sometimes, again, they think there is a God, but yet they think
and imagine of him falsely. "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether
such an one as thyself," saith God; "but I will reprove thee" (Psa
50:21).

Men think, that because they can sin with delight: that therefore
God can let them escape without punishment. Nay, oftentimes they
think, that God doth either quite forget their wickedness, or
else that he will be pleased with such satisfaction as they are
pleased to give him, even a few howling prayers (Hosea 7:14),
feigned and hypocritical tears, and weepings, which pass from them
more for fear of the punishment of hell-fire, than because they
have offended so holy, so just, and so glorious a God, and so
loving and so condescending a Jesus (Mal 2:13).

Sometimes again, they have had right thoughts of something of God,
but not of him together; either thinking so of his justice, as to
drive them from him, and also cause them to put him out of their
mind (Job 21:14). Or else so thinking of his mercy as that they
quite forget his holiness and justice. Now both these are but base
thoughts of God, and so erroneous, and sinful thoughts.

Sometimes also, they have pretty right thoughts of God, both as
to justice and mercy, but then, through the wretchedness of their
unsatisfied nature, they, against this light and knowledge, do,
with shut eyes, and hardened hearts, rush fiercely, knowingly, and
willingly again into their sins and wickedness (Heb 6:4-6; 10:26;
2 Peter 2:20).

As men have these various thoughts of God, so also their thoughts
are not steady about themselves.

Sometimes they think they are sinners, and therefore they have need
of mercy.

Sometimes again, they think they are righteous, and so have not
so much need; mark, and yet both alike rotten and base; because,
as the last is altogether senseless, so the first is not at all
savingly sensible (Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:11,12).

Sometimes again, they think they are gods (Eze 28:1-6); that they
shall never die; or that if they do die, yet they shall never rise
again (1 Cor 15:12); or if they do rise again, yet they shall be
saved, though they have lived vilely and in their sins all the
days of their life (Deu 29:18-20). Now, I say, every one of these
thoughts, with ten thousand more of the like nature, will God
bring in against the rebels in the judgment-day. Which thoughts
shall every one of them be brought forth in their distinct order.
He sheweth to man what is his thought (Amos 4:13). And, again, "I
know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be
with-holden from thee" (Job 42:2). We read, that when the strangers
at Jerusalem did but hear the apostles speak to every one of them
in their own language, how it amazed and confounded them (Acts
2:6-8). But, I say, how will they look and be amazed when God
shall evidently, clearly, and fully speak out all their hearts,
and every thought they have had before them!

Now the reason and strength of this witness will lie here, that God
will by the variety and crossness that their thoughts had one to
another, and by the contradiction that was in them, prove them
sinners and ungodly; because that, I say, sometimes they thought
there was a God, sometimes again, they thought there was none.
Sometimes they thought, that he was such a God, and sometimes
again, they thought of him quite contrary; sometimes they thought
he was worth regarding, and sometimes they thought he was not; as
also, sometimes they thought he would be faithful, both to mercy,
and justice, and sinners; and sometimes again, they thought he
would not.

What greater argument now can there be, to prove men, vanity,
froth, a lie, sinners, deluded by the devil, and such as had
false apprehensions of God, his ways, his word, his justice, his
holiness, of themselves, their sins, and every action?

Now they will indeed appear a very lump of confusion, a mass of
sin, a bundle of ignorance, of atheism, of unbelief, and of all
things that should lay them obnoxious to the judgments of God.
This will God, I say, by mustering up the thoughts of man, and
by shewing of them, that every imagination and thought of their
heart was only evil, and that continually, (by shewing of them
what staggering, drunken, wild, and uncomely thoughts they have
had, both of him, and of themselves,) convince them, cast them,
and condemn them for sinners, and transgressors against the book
of creatures, the book of his remembrance, and the book of the law.
By the variety of their thoughts, they shall be proved unstable,
ignorant, wandering stars, clouds carried with a tempest, without
order or guidance, and taken captive of the devil at his will.

Now, while the wicked are thus standing upon their trial and lives
before the judgment-seat, and that in the view of heaven and hell,
they, I say, hearing and seeing such dreadful things, both written
and witnessed against every one of them, and that by such books
and such witnesses as do not only talk, but testify, and that with
the whole strength of truth against them: they will then begin,
though poorly, and without any advantage, to plead for themselves,
which plea will be to this effect.

Lord, we did find in the scriptures, that thou didst send a Saviour
into the world, to deliver us from these sins and miseries. We
heard this Saviour also published, and openly proffered to such
poor sinners as we are. Lord, Lord, we also made profession of this
Saviour, and were many of us frequenters of his holy ordinances.
We have eaten and drank in thy presence, and thou hast taught in
our streets. Lord, we have also some of us, been preachers ourselves,
we have prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have we cast out
devils, and done many wondrous works. Nay, Lord, we did herd among
thy people; we forsook the profane and wicked world, and carried
our shining lamps before us in the face of all men; Lord, Lord,
open to us (Matt 7:21-23; 25:1,2,10,11; Luke 13:24-28).

And all the while they are thus pleading, and speaking for themselves:
behold, how earnestly they groan, how ghastly they look, and how
now the brinish tears flow down like rivers from their eyes, ever
redoubling their petition, Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord: first thinking
of this thing, and then of that, ever contending, seeking, and
striving to enter in at this strait gate. As Christ saith, "When
once the master of the house is risen up," that is, when Christ
hath laid aside his mediation for sinners, and hath taken upon
him only to judge and condemn; then will the wicked begin to stand
without, and to knock and contend for a portion among them that
are the blessed. Ah, how will their hearts twitter while they
look upon the kingdom of glory! and how will they ache and throb
at every view of hell, their proper place! still crying, O that
we might inherit life, and O that we might escape eternal death!

Fourth, But now, to take away all cavils and objections, that of
this nature will arise in the hearts of these men: forthwith the
book of life is brought out for a conclusion, and a final end
of eternal judgment. As John saith, "The books were opened; and
another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead
were judged out of those things which were written in the books,
according to their works" (Rev 20:12).

But this book of life, it is not at this time opened, because there
are not any godly to be tried; for as I have shewed before, their
judgment is past and over, before the wicked rise. The book of life,
then, is now opened for further conviction of damned reprobates,
that their mouths may be stopped for ever, as touching all their
cavils, contendings, and arguments against God's proceeding in
judgment with them. For believe it, while God is judging them,
they will fall to judging him again; but he will be justified in
his sayings, and will overcome when he is judged at this day (Rom
3:4-6). Yet not by a hasty and angry casting them away, but by
a legal and convincing proceeding against them, and overthrowing
all their cavils by his manifest and invincible truth. Wherefore,
to cut off all that they can say, he will now open the book of life
before them, and will shew them what is written therein, both as
to election, conversion, and a truly gospel conversation. And will
convince them that they neither are of the number of his elect,
neither were they ever regenerate, neither had they ever a truly
gospel conversation in the world.

By these three things, then, out of this book, thou, who art not
saved, must at last be judged and overcome.

1. Here will be tried, whether thou art within that part of this
book wherein all the elect are recorded; for all the elect are
written here, as Christ saith, "Rejoice, because your names are
written in heaven" (Luke 10:20); and again, "In thy book," saith
he to his Father, "all my members were written" (Psa 139:16; Heb
12:22,23). Now, then, if thy name be not found, either among the
prophets, apostles, or the rest of saints, thou must be put by,
as one that is cast away, as one polluted, and as an abominable
branch (Isa 14:19); thy name is wanting in the genealogies and
rolls of heaven (Ezra 2:62), thou art not pricked15 for everlasting
life, therefore thou must not be delivered from that soul-amazing
misery; for there are no souls can, though they would give a
thousand worlds, be delivered at the day of God but such that are
found written in this book. Every one of those that are written,
though never an one of those that are not written, shall in that
day be delivered from the wrath to come (Dan 12:1).

But, O methinks, with what careful hearts will the damned now begin
to look for their names in this book. Those that, when once the
long-suffering of God waited on them, made light of all admonition,
and slighted the counsel of making their calling and election
sure: would now give thousands of treasures, that they could but
spy their names, though last and least among the sons of God. But,
I say, how will they fail? how will they faint? how will they die
and languish in their souls? when they shall still as they look,
see their names wanting. What a pinch will it be to Cain to see
his brother there recorded, and he himself left out. Absalom will
now swoon, and be as one that giveth up the ghost, when he shall
see David his father, and Solomon his brother written here, while
he withal is written in the earth, among the damned. Thus, I say,
will sadness be added to sadness, in the soul of the perishing
world when they fail of finding their names in this part of "the
book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"
(Rev 13:8).

2. The second part of this book, is that in which is recorded, the
nature of conversion, of faith, love, &c. And those that have not
had the effectual word of God upon them, and the true and saving
operation of grace in their hearts, which is indeed the true life
which is begun in every Christian, they will be found still not
written in this book; for the living, the holy living souls, are
they only that are written therein; as the prophet saith, "and
he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every
one that is written among the living in Jerusalem" (Isa 4:3):
Eternal life is already in this life, begun in every soul that
shall be saved; as Christ saith, "He that believeth in me hath
everlasting life." And again, "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh
my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last
day" (John 6:54). And hence they are called the living, that are
written in this book. Here then, the Lord will open before thee,
what conversion is, in the true and simple nature of it, which
when thou beholdest, thou wilt then be convinced, that this thou
hast missed of; for it must needs be, that when thou beholdest by
the records of heaven, what a change what a turn; what an alteration
the work of regeneration maketh on every soul, and in every heart,
where the effectual call, or the call according to his purpose,
is; that thou who hast lived a stranger to this, or that hast
contented thyself with the notion only, or a formal, and feigned
profession thereof: I say, it cannot be but that thou must forthwith
fall down, and with grief conclude, that thou hast no share in
this part of the book of life neither, the living only are written
herein. There is not one dead, carnal, wicked man recorded here.
No; but when the Lord shall at this day make mention of Rahab, of
Babylon, of Philistia, and Ethiopia: that is, of all the cursed
rabble and crew of the damned: then he will say, that this man
was born there--that is, amongst them, and so hath his name where
they have theirs; namely, under the black rod, in the king's
black book, where he hath recorded all his enemies and traitors.
It shall be said of this man, of this ungodly man, that he was born
there (Psa 87:4), that he lived and died in the state of nature,
and so under the curse of God, even as others: for as he said of
wicked Coniah, "Write ye this man childless" (Jer 22:30), so he
saith of every ungodly man that so departeth out of this world,
Write this man graceless.

Wherefore, I say, among the Babylonians and Philistines; among the
unbelieving Moors and pagans, his name will be found in the day
when it will be inquired where every man was born; for God at this
day, will divide the whole world into these two ranks--the children
of the world, and the children of Zion. Wherefore here is the
honour, the privilege, and advantage that the godly above the
wicked will have at the day of their counting, when the Lord maketh
mention of Zion, it shall be then acknowledged that this and that
(good) man was born in her. "The Lord shall count," saith the
prophet, "when he writeth up the people, that this man was born
there" (Psa 87:6). This man had the work of conversion, of faith,
and grace in his soul. This man is a child of Zion, of the heavenly
Jerusalem, which is also written in heaven (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:23).
Blessed is the people that is in such a case (Psa 144:15).

But, poor soul, counters16 will not go for gold now; for though so
long as thou didst judge thyself by the crooked rule of thy own
reason, fancy, and affection, thou wast pure in thine own eyes:
yet now thou must be judged alone by the words and rule of the Lord
Jesus: which word shall not now, as in times past, be wrested and
wrung, both this way and that, to smooth thee up in thy hypocrite's
hope and carnal confidence; but be thou king or keser,17 be thou
who thou wilt, the word of Christ, and that with this interpretation
only, it shall judge thee in the last day (John 12:48).

Now will sinners begin to cry with loud and bitter cries, Oh! ten
thousand worlds for a saving work of grace. Crowns and kingdoms for
the least measure of saving faith, and for the love, that Christ
will say, is the love of his own Spirit.

Now they will begin also to see the work of a broken and a contrite
spirit, and of walking with God, as living stones, in this world. But
alas! these things appear in their hearts to the damned too late;
as also do all things else. This will be but like the repentance
of the thief, about whose neck is the halter, and he turning off
the ladder; for the unfortunate hap of the damned will be, that
the glory of heavenly things will not appear to them till out of
season. Christ must now indeed be shewed to them, as also the true
nature of faith and all grace; but it will be, when the door is
shut, and mercy gone. They will pray, and repent most earnestly;
but it will be in the time of great waters of the floods of eternal
wrath, when they cannot come nigh him (1 Tim 6:15; Matt 25:10,11;
Psa 32:6).

Well, then, tell me, sinner, if Christ should now come to judge the
world, canst thou abide the trial of the book of life? art thou
confident that thy profession, that thy conversion, thy faith,
and all other graces thou thinkest thou hast, will prove gold,
silver, and precious stones in this day? Behold, he comes as a
refiner's fire, and as fuller's soap. Shalt thou indeed abide the
melting and washing of this day? Examine, I say, beforehand, and
try thyself unfeignedly; for every one "that doth truth cometh
to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are
wrought in God" (John 3:21).

Thou sayest thou art a Christian, that also thou hast repented,
dost believe, and love the Lord Jesus; but the question is, whether
these things will be found of equal length, height, and breadth
with the book of life, or whether, when thou art weighed in the
balance, thou wilt yet be found wanting (Dan 5:27). How if, when
thou comest to speak for thyself before God, thou shouldst say
Sibboleth instead of Shibboleth: that is, though almost, yet not
rightly and naturally the language of the Christians (Judg 12:6).

If thou miss but one letter in thy evidence, thou art gone; for
though thou mayest deceive thy own heart with brass, instead of
gold, and with tin instead of silver, yet God will not be so put
off (Gal 6:7). You know how confident the foolish virgins were,
and yet how they were deceived. They herded with the saints, they
went forth from the gross pollutions of the world, they every
one had shining lamps, and all went forth to meet the bridegroom,
and yet they missed the kingdom; they were not written among the
living at Jerusalem; they had not the true, powerful, saving work
of conversion, of faith, and grace in their souls: they that are
foolish take their lamps, but take no oil, no saving grace, with
them (Matt 25:1-4). Thus you see how sinners will be put to it
before the judgment-seat from these two parts of this book of life.
But,

3. There is yet another part of this book to be opened, and that
is, that part of it in which are recorded those noble and Christian
acts, that they have done since the time of their conversion and
turning to Christ. Here, I say, are recorded the testimony of the
saints against sin and antichrist; their suffering for the sake
of God, their love to the members of Christ, their patience under
the cross, and their faithful frequenting the assemblies of the
saints, and their encouraging one another to bear up in his ways
in the worst of times; even when the proud were called happy, and
when they that wrought wickedness were even set up. As he there
saith, "Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another:
and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance
was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that
thought upon his name" (Mal 3:16).

For indeed, as truly as any person hath his name found in the first
part of this book of life, and his conversion in the second; so
there is a third part, in which there are his noble, spiritual, and
holy actions recorded and set down. As it is said by the Spirit
to John, concerning those that suffered martyrdom for the truth of
Jesus, "Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord:--Yea,
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their
works do follow them" (Rev 14:13).

And hence it is that the labours of the saints and the book of life,
are mentioned together, signifying that the travels, and labours,
and acts of the godly, are recorded therein (Phil 4:3).

And hence it is again, that the Lord doth tell Sardis, that those
among them that stood it out to the last gasp, in the faith and
love of the gospel, should not be blotted out of the book of life;
but they, with the work of God on their soul, and their labour
for God in this world; should be confessed before his Father, and
before his angels (Rev 3:5).

This part of this book, is in another place called, "The book
of the wars of the Lord," (Num 21:14), because in it, I say, are
recorded these famous acts of the saints against the world, flesh,
and the devil.

You find also, how exact the Holy Ghost is, in recording the travels,
pains, labour, and goodness of any of the children of Israel, in
their journey from Egypt to Canaan, which was a representation of
the travels of the saints, from nature to grace, and from grace
to glory. King Ahasuerus, kept in his library a book of records,
wherein was written, the good service that his subjects did for
him at any time, which was a type also of the manner and order of
heaven. And as sure as ever Mordecai, when search was made in the
rolls, was found there to have done such and such service for the
king and his kingdom (Esth 6:1,2): so surely will it be found, what
every saint hath done for God, at the day of inquiry. You find in
the Old Testament also, still as any of the kings of Judah died,
there was surely a record in the book of Chronicles, of their
memorable acts and doings for their God, the church, and the
commonwealth of Israel, which still doth further hold forth unto
the children of men, this very thing, that all the kings of the
New Testament, which are the saints of God, have all their acts,
and what they have done for their God, &c., recorded in the book
of Chronicles in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Now, I say, when this part of the book of life shall be opened,
what can be found in it, of the good deeds and heaven-born actions
of wicked men? Just nothing; for as it is not to be expected that
thorns should bring forth grapes, or that thistles should bear
figs: so it cannot be imagined, that ungodly men should have
anything to their commendations, recorded in this part of the book
of life. What hast thou done, man, for God in this world? Art thou
one of them that hast set thyself against those strong strugglings
of pride, lust, covetousness, and secret wickedness, that remain
in thy heart, like Job and Paul? (Job 1:8; 2 Cor 10:4,5). And do
these strugglings against these things, arise from pure love to
the Lord Jesus, or from some legal terrors and conviction for sin
(Gal 5:6). Dost thou, I say, struggle against thy lusts, because
thou dost in truth, love the sweet, holy, and blessed leadings of
the Spirit of the Lord Jesus; its leadings of thee, I say, into
his blood and death, for thy justification and deliverance from
wrath to come (Phil 3:6-8; 2 Cor 5:14).

What acts of self-denial, hast thou done for the name of the Lord
Jesus, among the sons of men? I say, what house, what friend, what
wife, what children, and the like, hast thou lost, or left for the
word of God, and the testimony of his truth in the world? (Matt
19:27,28; Rev 12:11). Wast thou one of them, that didst sigh, and
afflict thyself for the abominations of the times? and that Christ
hath marked and recorded for such an one? (Eze 9:4; Zeph 3:18).

In a word, art thou one of them, that wouldst not be won, neither
by fear, frowns, nor flatteries, to forsake the ways of God, or
wrong thy conscience? or art thou one of them that slightest those
opportunities that Satan and this world did often give thee to
return to sin in secret (Heb 11:15). These be the men whose praise
is in the gospel, and whose commendable and worthy acts are recorded
before the Judge of all the world. Alas, alas, these things are
strange things to a carnal and wicked man. Nothing of this hath
been done by him in this life, and therefore how can any such be
recorded for him in the book of life? wherefore he must needs be
shut out of this part also. As David saith, "Let them be blotted
out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous"
(Psa 69:28).

Thus I say, the wicked will find nothing for their comfort, either
in the first part of this book, where all the names of the elect
are, neither will they find anything in the second part thereof,
where are recorded the true nature and operation of effectual
conversion, of faith, or love, or the like; and I say, neither
can anything be found in this third part, wherein are recorded the
worthy acts, and memorable deeds of the saints of the Lord Jesus.
Thus, when Christ therefore hath opened before them this book of
life, and convinced the ungodly at this day out of it, he will
then shut it up again, saying, I find nothing herein that will do
you good; you are none of my elect, you are the sons of perdition.
For as these things will be found clear and full in the book of
life, so they will be found effectually wrought in the hearts
of the elect, all whose conversion and perseverance shall now be
opened before thine eyes, as a witness, I say, of the truth of what
thou here seest opened before thee, and also of thy unregenerate
estate. Now, thou wilt see what a turn, what a change, and what
a clinging to God, to Christ, and his word and ways; there was
found in the souls of the saved ones! Here shall be seen also how
resolvedly, unfeignedly, and heartily the true child of God did
oppose, resist, and war against his most dear and darling lusts
and corruptions. Now the saints are hidden ones, but then they
shall be manifest; this is the morrow in which the Lord will shew
who are his, and who they are that fear the Lord, and who that
fear him not (Psa 83:3; 1 Sam 8:19; Num 16:5; Mal 3:18). Now you
shall see how Abraham left his country (Heb 11:8); how close good
Lot did stick to God in profane and wicked Sodom (2 Peter 2:7,8);
how the apostles left all to follow Jesus Christ (Matt 19:29); and
how patiently they took all crosses, afflictions, persecutions,
and necessities for the kingdom of heaven's sake; how they endured
burning, striving, stoning, hanging, and a thousand calamities; how
they manifested their love to their Lord, his cause, and people in
the worst of times, and in the days when they were most rejected,
slighted, abused, and abased; "then shall the King say to them on
his right hand, (and that when all the devils and damned sinners
stand by,) Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (you are indeed
the truly converted souls, as appears by the grace that was in
your hearts) for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was
thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in
prison, and ye came unto me" (Matt 25:34-36). You owned me, stood
by me, and denied yourselves to nourish me and my poor members,
in our low, and weak, and most despised condition. This, I say,
the world shall see, hear, and be witnesses of, against themselves
and their souls for ever; for how can it be, but these poor damned
sinners should be forced to confess, that they were both Christless
and graceless, when they shall find, both in the book of life, and
in the hearts of the holy and beloved souls, that which themselves
are quite barren of, and greatest strangers to. The saints, by
the fruits of regeneration, even in this world, do testify to the
world, not only the truth of conversion in themselves, but also
that they are yet Christless, and so heavenless, and salvationless,
that are not converted (1 Tim 6:12; 1 Thess 2:10; 2 Tim 2:2). But
alas! while we are here, they will evade this testimony, both of
our happiness, by calling our faith, phantasy; our communion with
God, delusion; and the sincere profession of his word before the
world, hypocrisy, pride, and arrogancy: yet, I say, when they see
us on the right hand of Christ, commingled among the angels of
light, and themselves on his left hand, and commingled with the
angels of darkness; and, I say, when they shall see our hearts and
ways opened before their eyes, and owned by the Judge for honest
hearts and good ways, and yet the same ways that they hated,
slighted, disowned and contemned, what will they, or what can they
say, but thus--We fools counted their lives madness, and their end
to be without honour; but how are they numbered with the saints,
and owned by God and Christ!

And truly, was it not that the world might, by seeing the turn that
is wrought on the godly at their conversion, be convinced of the
evil of their ways, or be left without excuse the more in the day
of God, (with some other reasons) they should not, I am persuaded,
stay so long from heaven as they do, nor undergo so much abuse
and hardship as frequently befalls them. God, by the lengthening
out the life of his people that are scattered here and there
among men in this world, is making work for the day of judgment,
and the overthrow of the implacable, for ever and ever; and, as
I have said, will by the conversion, life, patience, self-denial,
and heavenly-mindedness of his dear children, give them a heavy
and most dreadful blow. Now, when God hath thus laid open the
work of grace, both by the book of life and the Christian's heart:
then, of itself will fall to the ground, their pleading what gifts
and abilities they had in this world; they will now see that gifts,
and grace, are two things: and also, that whosoever is graceless,
let their gifts be never so excellent, they must perish and be lost
for ever; wherefore, for all their gifts, they shall be found the
workers of iniquity, and shall so be judged and condemned (Matt
7:22,23). That is a notable place in the prophecy of Ezekiel, "Thus
saith he Lord GOD," saith he, "If the prince," the Prince of Life,
"give a gift to any of his sons,"--that is, to any that are truly
gracious--"the inheritance," or the profit that he gets thereby,
"shall be his son's"--that is, for the exercise of his gift he
shall receive a reward; "but if he give a gift of his inheritance
to one of his servants," that is not a son, "then it shall be
his" but "to the year of liberty; after, it shall return to the
prince," &c. (Eze 46:16,17). This day of liberty it is now, when
the Judge is set upon the throne to judgment, even the glorious
liberty of the children of God (Rom 8:21), wherefore then will
Christ say to them that stand by, "Take from him the pound, and
give it to him that hath ten pounds. This servant must not abide
in the house for ever, though with the son it shall be so" (John
8:35; Luke 19:24). A man may be used as a servant in the church of
God, and may receive many gifts, and much knowledge of the things
of heaven, and yet at last himself be no more than a very bubble
and nothing (1 Cor 13:1-3).

But now, I say, at this day, they shall clearly see the difference
between gifts and grace, even as clearly, as now they that have
eyes can see the difference between gifts and ignorance, and very
foolishness. This our day doth indeed abound with gifts; many
sparkling wits are seen in every corner; men have the word and
truths of Christ at their fingers' ends; but alas, with many,
yea, a great many, there is nought but wits and gifts; they are
but words, all their religion lieth in their tongues and heads,
the power of what they say and know, it is seen in others, not
in themselves. These are like the lord on whom the king of Israel
leaned, they shall see the plenty, the blessed plenty that God
doth provide, and will bestow upon his church, but they shall not
taste thereof (2 Kings 7:17-20).

Obs. First. Before I conclude this matter, observe, [first,] that
among all the objections and cavils that are made, and will be
made, by the ungodly, in the day of the Lord Jesus, they have not
one hump18 about election and reprobation; they murmur not at all
that they were not predestinated to eternal life; and the reason
is, because then they shall see, though now they are blind, that
God could in his prerogative royal, without prejudice to them that
are damned, choose and refuse at pleasure; and besides, they at
that day shall be convinced, that there was so much reality and
downright willingness in God, in every tender of grace and mercy
to the worst of men; and also so much goodness, justness, and
reasonableness in every command of the gospel of grace, which they
were so often entreated and beseeched to embrace, that they will
be drowned in the conviction of this, that did refuse love, grace,
reason, &c.: love, I say, for hatred, grace for sin, and things
reasonable, for things unreasonable and vain. Now they shall see
they left glory for shame, God for the devil, heaven for hell, light
for darkness. Now they shall see that though they made themselves
beasts, yet God made them reasonable creatures, and that he
did with reason expect that they should have adhered to, and have
delighted in, things that are good, and according to God; yea, now
they shall see, that though God did not determine to bring them to
heaven against their hearts and wills, and the love that they had
to their sins: yet then they shall be convinced, that God was far
from infusing anything into their souls, that should in the least
hinder, weaken, obstruct, or let them in seeking the welfare of
their souls. Now men will tattle and prattle at a mad rate, about
election and reprobation, and conclude, that because all are not
elected, therefore God is to blame that any are damned: but then
they will see, that they are not damned because they were not
elected, but because they sinned; and also that they sinned, not
because God put any weakness into their souls, but because they
gave way, and that willfully, knowingly, and desperately, to Satan
and his suggestions; and so turned away from the holy commandment
delivered unto them; yea, then they will see, that though God at
some times did fasten his cords about their heads, and heels, and
hands, both by godly education, and smarting convictions, yet they
rushed away with violence from all, saying, "Let us break their
bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" (Psa 2:3). God
will be justified in his sayings, and clear when he judgeth (Psa
51:4), though thy proud ignorance thinks to have, and to multiply,
cavils against him.

Obs. Second. But secondly, as the whole body of the elect, by the
nature of conversion in their hearts, shall witness a non-conversion
in the hearts of the wicked; and as the ungodly shall fall under
the conviction of this cloud of witnesses: so, to increase their
conviction, there will also be opened before them all the labours
of the godly, both ministers and others, and the pains that they
have taken, to save, if it had been possible, these damned wretches;
and now will it come burning hot upon their souls, how often they
were forewarned of this day; now they shall see, that there was
never any quarter-sessions, nor general jail-delivery more publicly
foretold of, than this day. You know that the judges before they
begin their assizes, do give to the country in charge, that they
take heed to the laws and statutes of the king. Why rebel, thou
shalt be at this day convicted, that every sermon thou hast heard,
and that every serious debate thou hast been at about the things
of God, and laws of eternity, they were to thee as the judge's
charge before the assizes and judgment began. Every exhortation of
every minister of God, it is as that which Paul gave to Timothy,
and commanded him to give in charge to others--"I charge thee before
God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels," saith he,
"that thou observe these things;" and again, "I give thee charge
in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus
Christ, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until
the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Tim 5:21; 6:13,14). These
things give in charge, saith he, that they may be blameless. This,
I say, hast thou heard and seen, and yet thou hast not held fast,
but hast cast away the things that thou hast heard, and hast been
warned of: alas! God will multiply his witnesses against thee.

1. Thy own vows and promises shall be a witness against thee, that
thou hast, contrary to thy light and knowledge, destroyed thy soul,
as Joshua said to the children of Israel, when they said the Lord
should be their God. Well, saith he, "Ye are witnesses against
yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him." That
is, if now you turn back again, even this covenant and resolution
of yours will in the great day be a witness against you--"And they
said, We are witnesses" (Josh 24:22).

2. Every time you have with your mouth said well of godliness, and
yet gone on in wickedness; or every time you have condemned sin
in others, and yet have not refrained it yourselves; I say, every
such word and conclusion that hath passed out of thy mouth, sinner,
it shall be as a witness against thee in the day of God, and the
Lord Jesus Christ; as Christ saith, "By thy words thou shalt be
justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" (Matt 12:37).
I observe, that talk with who you will, they will with their mouth
say, serving of God, and loving of Christ, and walking in ways of
holiness, are best, and best will come of them. I observe again,
that men that are grossly wicked themselves, will yet, with heavy
censures and judgments, condemn drunkenness, lying, covetousness,
pride, and whoring, with all manner of abominations in others;
and yet, in the meantime, continue to be neglecters of God, and
embracers of sin and the allurements of the flesh themselves. Why,
such souls, every time they speak well of godliness, and continue
in their sins; they do pass judgment upon themselves, and provide
a witness, even their own mouth, against their own soul, at the
judgment-seat--"Out of thy own mouth," saith Christ, "will I judge
thee, thou wicked servant;" thou knewest what I was, and that
I loved to see all my servants zealous, and active for me, that
at my coming, I might have received again what I gave thee, with
increase; thou oughtest therefore to have been busying thyself in
my work, for my glory, and thy own good; but seeing thou hast,
against thy own light and mouth gone contrary: Angels, take this
unprofitable servant, and cast ye him into utter darkness, there
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth; he sinned against his
light, he shall go to hell against his will (Matt 25:26-31).

The very same I say, will befall all those that have used their
mouth to condemn the sins of others, while they themselves live
in their sins. Saith God, O thou wicked wretch, thou didst know
that sin was bad, thou didst condemn it in others, thou dist also
condemn, and pass judgment upon them for their sin, "Therefore
thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for"
thou that judgest dost the same thing; wherefore, "wherein thou
hast judged another, thou condemnest thyself." I must therefore,
saith Christ, look upon thee to be no other but a sinner against
thy own mouth, and cannot but judge thee as a despiser of my
goodness, and the riches of my forbearance; by which means, thou
hast treasured up wrath against this day of wrath, and revelation
of the righteous judgment of God (Rom 2:1-5). He that knoweth to
do good, and doth it not, to him it is sin. Thus will God, I say,
judge and condemn poor sinners, even from and by themselves, to
the fire, that lake of brimstone and fire.

3. God hath said in his word, that rather than there shall want
witness at the day of judgment, against the workers of iniquity:
the very dust of their city, that shall cleave to his messengers
that publish the gospel shall itself be a witness against them;
and so Christ bid his servants say--"Into whatsoever city ye enter,
and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the
same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on
us, we do wipe off against you": &c. "But I say unto you," saith
he to his ministers, "it shall be more tolerable for Sodom" at
the judgment "than for that city" (Luke 10:10-12).

It may be, that when thou hearest that the dust of the street,
(that cleaveth to a minister of the gospel, while thou rejectest
his word of salvation,) shall be a witness against thee at the
day of judgment: thou wilt be apt to laugh, and say, The dust a
witness! Witnesses will be scarce where dust is forced to come in
to plead against a man. Well sinner, mock not; God doth use to
confound the great and mighty by things that are not, and that
are despised. And how sayest thou? If God had said by a prophet
to Pharaoh, but two years before the plague, that he would shortly
come against him with one army of lice, and a second army of
frogs, and with a third army of locusts, &c., and would destroy
his land, dost thou think it had been wisdom in Pharaoh, now to
have laughed such tidings to scorn? "Is anything too hard for the
Lord? Hath he said it, and shall he not bring it to pass?" You
shall see in the day of judgment, of what force all these things
will be, as witnesses against the ungodly.

Many more witnesses might I here reckon up, but these at this time
shall suffice to be nominated; for out of the mouth of two or three
witnesses, every word shall be established (2 Cor 13:1). "And at
the mouth of two or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of
death, be put to death" (Deu 17:6; John 8:17).

[Fourth--the sentence of the ungodly.] Thus then, the books being
opened, the laws read, the witnesses heard, and the ungodly
convicted; forthwith the Lord and Judge proceeds to execution.

[THE SENTENCE AND PUNISHMENT OF THE WICKED.]

And to that end doth pass the sentence of eternal death upon them,
saying, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared
for the devil and his angels" (Matt 25:41). You are now by the
book of the creatures, by the book of God's remembrance, by the
book of the law, and by the book of life, adjudged guilty of high
treason against God and me; and as murderers of your own souls,
as these faithful and true witnesses here have testified, every
one of them appearing in their most upright testimony against
you. Also, you never had a saving work of conversion, and faith,
passed upon you, you died in your sins; neither can I find anything
in the last part of this book that will serve your turn, no worthy
act is here recorded of you--When "I was an hungered, and ye gave
me no meat": when "I was thirsty, ye game me no drink: when I was
a stranger, ye took me not in: I was naked, but ye clothed me not:
I was sick and in prison, but ye visited me not": I have made a
thorough search among the records of the living, and find nothing
of you, or of your deeds, therein--"Depart from me, ye cursed,"
&c. (Matt 25:42,43).

Thus will these poor ungodly creatures be stripped of all hope
and comfort, and therefore must need fall into great sadness and
wailing, before the Judge; yea, crying out, as being loath to
let go all for lost; and even as the man that is fallen into the
river, will catch hold of anything when he is struggling for life,
though it tend to hold him faster under the water to drown him:
so, I say, while these poor creatures, as they lie struggling and
twining under the ireful countenance of the Judge; they will bring
out yet one more faint and weak groan, and there goes life and
all; their last sigh is this--Lord, when saw we thee an hungered,
and gave thee no meat: or when saw we thee thirsty, and gave thee
no drink? when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee not in? or
naked, and clothed thee not? or when wast thou sick, or in prison,
and we did not minister unto thee? (Matt 25:44).

Thus you see, how loath the sinner is now to take a "nay" of life
everlasting. He that once would not be persuaded to close with the
Lord Jesus, though one should have persuaded him with tears of
blood: behold how fast he now hangs about the Lord, what arguments
he frames with mournful groans; how with shifts and words he seeks
to gain the time, and to defer the execution: Lord, open unto us!
Lord, Lord, open unto us! (Matt 25:11). Lord, thou hast taught in
our streets, and we have both taught in thy name and in thy name
have we cast out devils (Matt 7:22). We have eaten and drank in
thy presence (Luke 13:26). And when did we see thee an hungry, or
thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did
not minister to thee? (Matt 25:10,11). O poor hearts! how loath,
how unwillingly do they turn away from Christ! How loath are they
to partake of the fruit of their ungodly doings! Christ must say,
Depart once, and depart twice, before they will depart. When he
hath shut the door upon them, yet they knock, and cry, "Lord, open
unto us;" when he hath given them their answer, "that he knows
them not," yet they plead and mourn. Wherefore he is fain to answer
again, "I tell you, I know you not whence you are; depart" (Luke
13:25-27).

"DEPART." O this word, Depart! How dreadful is it! with what weight
will it fall on the head of every condemned sinner! For you must
note, that while the ungodly stand thus before the Judge; they
cannot choose but have a most famous view both of the kingdom of
heaven, and of the damned wights in hell. Now they see the God of
glory, the King of glory, the saints of glory, and the angels of
glory; and the kingdom in which they have their eternal abode. Now,
they also begin to see the worth of Christ, and what it is to be
smiled upon by him; from all which they must depart; and as I say,
they shall have the view of this; so they will most famously19
behold the pit, the bottomless pit, the fire, the brimstone, and
the flaming beds that justice hath prepared for them of old (Jude
4). Their associates also, will be very conspicuous, and clear
before their watery eyes. They will see now, what and which are
devils, and who are damned souls; now their great-grandfather
Cain, and all his brood, with Judas and his companions, must be
their fellow-sighers in the flames and pangs for ever. O heavy
day! O heavy word!

This word "depart," therefore, it looketh two ways, and commands
the damned to do so too. Depart from heaven, depart to hell; depart
from life, depart to death: "depart from me"--now the ladder doth
turn from under them indeed.20

The Saviour turns them off, the Saviour throws them down. He hath
given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the
Son of man (John 5:27). Depart from me: I would come to have done
you good; but then you would not. Now then, though you would have
it never so willingly, yet you shall not.

"Depart from me, ye cursed." You lie open to the stroke of justice
for your sins; ye forsaken, and left of God, ye vessels of wrath,
ye despisers of God and goodness, you must now have vengeance feed
on you; for you did, when you were in the world, feed on sin, and
treasure up wrath against this day of wrath, and revelation of the
righteous judgment of God (Rom 2:3-6).

"Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." Fire is that which of
all things is the most insufferable and insupportable. Wherefore,
by fire, is shewed the grievous state of the ungodly, after
judgment. Who can eat fire, drink fire, and lie down in the midst
of flames of fire? Yet this must the wicked do. Again; not only
fire, but everlasting fire. "Behold how great a fire a little
matter kindleth." A little sin, a little pleasure, a little unjust
dealing and doing; what preparation is made for the punishment
thereof. And hence it is, that the fire into which the damned fall,
is called the lake, or sea of fire--"And whosoever," saith John,
"was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake
of fire and brimstone" (Rev 20:15). Little did the sinner seriously
think, that when he was sinning against God, he was making such
provision for his poor soul; but now 'tis too late to repent, his
worm must never die, and his fire never shall be quenched (Mark
9:48). Though the time in which men commit sin is short, yet the
time of God's punishing of them for their sin, is long.

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the
devil and his angels." In that he saith, "prepared for the devil
and his angels": he insinuates a further conviction upon the
consciences of the damned. As if he had said, As for this fire
and lake that you must go to, though you thought but little of
it, because you were careless, yet I did betimes put you in mind
of what would be the fruits of sin; even by preparing of this
judgment for the devil and his angels. The devil in his creation
is far more noble than you; yet when he sinned, I spared him not.
He sinned also before man; and I, upon his sinning, did cast him
down from heaven to hell, and did hang the chains of everlasting
darkness upon him (Jude 6), which might, yea, ought to have been
a fair item to you to take heed, but you would not (Gen 3:2-5).
Wherefore, seeing you have sinned as he hath done, and that too,
after he had both sinned, and was bound over to eternal punishment;
the same justice that layeth hold on these more noble creatures,
must surely seize on you (Rev 20:1). The world should be convinced of
judgment then, "because the prince of this world is judged" (John
16:8). And that before they came to this condition of hearing the
eternal sentence rattle in their ears; but seeing they did not
regard it then, they must and shall feel the smart of it now.
"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for
the devil and his angels."

God would have men learn both what mercy and justice is to them,
by his shewing it to others; but if they be sottish and careless
in the day of forbearance, they must learn by smarting in the day
of rebukes and vengeance. Thus it was with the old world; God gave
them one hundred and twenty years' warning, by the preparation of
Noah, for the flood that should come; but forasmuch as they then
were careless, and would not consider the works of the Lord, nor
his threatening them by this preparation: therefore he brought in
the flood upon the world of the ungodly, as he doth here the last
judgment upon the workers of iniquity, and sweeps them all away
in their willful ignorance (Matt 24:37-39).

Wherefore, I say, the Lord Chief Judge by these words, "Prepared
for the devil and his angels," doth as good as say, This fire into
which now I send you, it did of itself, even in the preparation of
it, had you considered it, forewarn you of this that now is come
upon you. Hell-fire is no new, or unheard-of thing; you cannot now
plead, that you heard not of it in the world, neither could you
with any reason judge, that seeing I prepared it for angels, for
noble, powerful, and mighty angels; that you, poor dust and ashes,
should escape the vengeance.

"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the
devil and his angels": The sentence being thus passed, it remains
now, the work being done, that every one goeth to his eternal
station. Wherefore, forthwith this mighty company, do now with
heavy heart, return again from before the judgment-seat: and that
full hastily, God knoweth, for their proper centre, is the hell
of hell; into which they descend like a stone into a well, or like
Pharaoh into the bottom of the Red Sea (Exo 15:10). For all hope
being now taken from them, they must needs fall with violence, into
the jaws of eternal desperation, which will deal far worse with
the souls of men, and make a greater slaughter in their tortured
consciences, than the lions in the den with Daniel, could possibly
do with the men that were cast in among them (Dan 6:24).

This is that which Paul calleth eternal judgment (Heb 6:2), because
it is that which is last and final. Many are the judgments that
God doth execute among the sons of men, some after this manner,
and some after that; divers of which, continue but for awhile, and
none of them are eternal; no, the very devils and damned spirits
in hell, though there, is the longest and most terrible of all
the judgments of God, yet on foot: yet I say, they must pass under
another judgment, even this last, great, and final judgment--"The
angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own
habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness,
unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 6). And so also it is
with damned souls; for both Sodom and Gomorrah, with all other,
though already in hell in their souls; yet they must, as I have
before shewed, all arise to this judgment, which will be their final
judgment. Other of the judgments of God, as they have an end, so
the end of many of them prove the profit of those on whom they are
inflicted, being I say, God's instrument of conversion to sinners;
and so may fitly be compared to those petty judgments among men,
as putting in the stocks, whipping, or burning in the hand: which
punishments, and judgments, do often prove profitable to those that
are punished with them; but eternal judgment, it is like those
more severe judgments among men, as beheading, shooting to death,
hanging, drawing and quartering, which swoop21 all, even health,
time, and the like, and cut off all opportunity of good, leaving no
place for mercy or amendment--"These shall go away into everlasting
punishment," &c. (Matt 25:46). This word, "depart," &c., is the
last word the damned for ever are like to hear--I say, it is the
last voice, and therefore will stick longest, and with most power,
on their slaughtered souls; there is no calling of it back again;
it is the very wind-up of eternal judgment.

Thus then, the judgment being over, the kingdom ceaseth to be any
longer in the hand of the man Christ Jesus; for as the judges here
among men, when they have gone their circuit, do deliver up their
commission to the king; so Christ the judge, doth now deliver up
his kingdom to his Father (Matt 21:8), and now, all is swallowed
up of eternity. The damned are swallowed up of eternal justice and
wrath; the saved, of eternal life and felicity; and the Son also
delivereth up, I say, the kingdom to the Father, and subjects
himself under him that did put all things under him, that God may
be all in all (1 Cor 15:24-28).

For now is the end come, and not before, even the end of the reign
of death itself; for death, and hell, and sinners, and devils,
must now [fall] together into the lake, that burns with fire and
brimstone (Rev 20:14,15). And now is the end of Christ's reign, as
the Son of man; and the end of the reign of the saints with him,
in this his kingdom, which he hath received of his Father for his
work sake, which he did for him, and for his elect. "Then cometh
the end," saith Paul, "when he shall have delivered up the kingdom
to God, even the Father;" But when shall that be? Why, he answers
saying, "When he shall have put down all rule and all authority
and power. For he must reign," saith he, "till he hath put all
enemies under his feet," which will not be until the final sentences
and judgment be over; for "the last enemy that shall be destroyed
is death. For he (God) hath put all things under his feet. But
when he saith, All things are put under him, it is manifest that
he is excepted which did put all things under him. And when all
things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself
be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may
be all in all" (1 Cor 15:24-28).

All things being now at this pass--to wit, every one being in its
proper place, God in his, Christ in his, the saint in his, and the
sinner in his; I shall conclude with this brief touch upon both
the state of the good and bad after this eternal judgment--

The righteous now shall never fear death, the devil, and hell more;
and the wicked shall never hope of life.

The just shall ever have the victory over these things: but the
wicked shall everlastingly be swallowed up of them.

The holy shall be in everlasting light: but the sinner in everlasting
darkness. Without light, I say, yet in fire ever burning, yet not
consumed; always afraid of death and hell, vehemently desiring to be
annihilated to nothing. Continually fearing to stay long in hell,
and yet certainly sure they shall never come out of it. Ever
desiring the saints' happiness, and yet always envying their
felicity. They would have it, because it is easy and comfortable;
yet cannot abide to think of it, because they have lost it for ever.
Ever laden with the delight of sin; and yet that is the greatest
torture; always desiring to put it out of their mind, and yet
assuredly know they must for ever abide the guilt and torment
thereof.

The saints are always inflamed with the consideration of the grace
that once they embraced; but the wicked, most flamingly tormented
with the thoughts of rejecting and refusing it.

The just, when they think of their sins, they are comforted with
the thoughts of their being delivered from them; but the ungodly,
when they think of their righteousness, will gnaw themselves, to
think that this would not deliver them from hell.

When the godly think of hell, it will increase their comfort; but
when the wicked think of heaven, it will twinge them like a serpent.
Oh, this eternal judgment! What would a damned soul give that
there might be, though after thousands and hundreds of thousands
of millions of years, an end put to this eternal judgment. But
their misery is, they have sinned against a God that is eternal;
they have offended that justice that will never be satisfied; and
therefore they must abide the fire that never shall be quenched.
Here is judgment, just and sad.

Again; as it will be thus with good and bad in general, so again,
more particularly, when the wicked are thus adjudged and condemned,
and also received of the fiery gulf, then they shall find, That
as he that busieth himself to do good, shall have more glory than
others; so they that have been more busy and active in sin than
others, they shall have more wrath and torment than others. For
as doing good abundantly, doth enlarge the heart to receive and
hold more glory: so doing evil abundantly, doth enlarge the heart
and soul to receive punishment so much the more. And hence it is
that you have such sayings as these--It shall be more tolerable
in the judgment for Sodom than for others (Luke 10:12)--that is,
than for those that had sinned against much greater light and
mercy. "For these," as he saith in another place, "shall receive
greater damnation" (Luke 20:47). Yea, it standeth to reason, that
he who had most light, most conviction, most means of conversion,
and that was highest towards heaven, he must needs have the greatest
fall, and so sink deepest into the jaws of eternal misery. As one
star--that is, as one saint--differeth from another in heaven; so
one damned soul shall differ from another in hell. It is so among
the devils themselves; they are some worse than others; Beelzebub
is the prince, or chief of the devils (Matt 9:34; Mark 3:22).
That is, one that was most glorious in heaven; chief among the
reprobate angels before his fall (Isa 14:12), and therefore sinned
against the greater light, mercy, and goodness; and so became the
chief for wickedness, and will also have as the wages thereof, the
chief of torments. For that will be true of the damned in hell,
which is prayed for against Babylon.--"How much she hath glorified
herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give
her" (Rev 18:7). Can it be imagined that Judas should have no more
torment, who betrayed the Prince of life and Saviour of the world,
than others who never came near his wickedness by ten thousand
degrees? He that knew his master's will, and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many
stripes; with many more stripes, than others that through ignorance
did commit sin worthy of many stripes. But what should I thus
discourse of the degrees of the torments of the damned souls in
hell? For he that suffers least, will the waters of a full cup be
wrung out to him; the least measure of wrath, it will be the wrath
of God, eternal and fiery wrath, insupportable wrath; it will lay
the soul in the gulf of that second death, which will for ever have
the mastery over the poor damned perishing sinner. "And death and
hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast
into the lake of fire" (Rev 20:14,15).


FOOTNOTES:

1 Bunyan quotes this from the Genevan or Puritan version; our
present translation has "in our body."--Ed.

2 From the verb "to chit," to sprout--to shoot at the end of the
grain; provincial and almost obsolete.--Ed.

3 These ideas are as new as they are striking and splendid. Our
vile bodies, when raised from the dust, shall be spiritual--like
that of Christ--with him in glory; "bright as the sun and stars
and angels." How amazingly superior is our preaching mechanic,
to all the fathers (so called) and dignitaries of state churches
that ever wrote upon this subject. Bunyan proves his apostolic
descent in the right line; he breathes the spirit--the holy fire
of the inspired writers.--Ed.

4 I have continued this word as Bunyan spelt it, but he probably
meant hog-herd, a keeper or driver of swine, one of the dirtiest
and lowest employments.

"No boorish hog-herd fed his rooting swine" Browne's Pastorals.--Ed.

5 "Its possessing of us," or to give us possession. "This possesses
us of the most valuable blessing of human life, friendship." Gov.
of Tongue.--Ed.

6 This is an awful state of delusion; to imagine that God is the
author of gross things, such as worshipping a wafer, or applying
to a priest to forgive sins; and that a holy God prompts them to
the doing thereof, and sanctions them by his presence!! "Every man
is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed,"
James 1:14. Christian, take care that you receive not any doctrine,
nor conform to any practice in religion, without prayerful
investigation, and a "thus saith the Lord" for its sanction.--Ed.

7 "Go to his grave in his banner," alluding to splendid funerals,
the hearse being ornamented with banners captured in war, or
armorial bearings.--Ed.

8 Unsanctified knowledge, accompanied by a degree of conformity in
conduct, may be the portion of some who indulge soul-destroying
heresies.--Ed.

9 A graphic writer, addressing us at the distance of two centuries,
frequently makes interesting mention of manners and customs prevailing
at the time wherein he lived. From the illustration here employed
by Bunyan, we learn that the culprit before trial, and therefore
before convicted of crime, was in a manner prejudged, and loaded
with fetters. These extreme judicial severities belong to the past.

10 "Abundance," exuberance, more than enough.--Ed.

11 Bunyan's sanctified mind, well stored with the sacred scriptures,
richly enjoyed the contemplation of nature. No writer, however
blessed with extensive learning, sanctified by deep and glowing
piety, has opened the book of creation with such a master mind, as
a witness against man at the day of judgment. In this, as in many
other things, Bunyan stands pre-eminent; a striking illustration
of the ways of God, who poured such abundance of heavenly treasure
into an earthen vessel, despised and persecuted of men.--Ed.

12 "Slethy," now obsolete, sly, cunning, stealthy. "Darkened with
men's sleightie jugling, and counterfeit crafts." Bishop Gardiner.--Ed.

13 "Twenty and twenty years," a singular mode of expression,
probably alluding to the forty years' trial of the Israelites in
the wilderness.--Ed.

14 Conscience, at the day of judgment, will imperatively "command
guilt," which had been committed, to appear, and will fasten it
upon the soul, which it accuseth. This is a most impressive and
solemn appeal;--there can then be no concealment, no subterfuge.--Ed.

15 "Pricked," nominated by a puncture or mark, as our sheriffs are
pricked.--Ed.

16 "Counters," false coin--"Will you with counters sum The vast
proportion of his infinite." Shakespeare.--Ed.

17 "Keser," Caesar or emperor.--Ed.


18 "Hump;" or "hump-back" is a deformity in nature, so Bunyan uses
the word "hump" as a deformity in judgment.--Ed.

19 "Famously," plainly, openly; in this sense obsolete. Tillotson
used the words "famous malefactors." Sermon on 1 John 4:9.--Ed.

20 Bunyan here alludes to men convicted of crime; but how many
innocent, nay, pious servants of Christ, have been compelled to go
up the ladder to the gibbet, and when the rope has been adjusted
and the ladder turned, have been ignominiously murdered by the
sanction of wicked laws.--Ed.

21 The physician looks with another eye on the medicinal herb than the
grazing ox, which swoops it in with the common grass. Glanville.--Ed.

***

SOME GOSPEL TRUTHS OPENED, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES; OR, THE
DIVINE AND HUMAN NATURE OF CHRIST JESUS;

HIS COMING INTO THE WORLD; HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, DEATH, RESURRECTION,
ASCENSION, INTERCESSION, AND SECOND COMING TO JUDGMENT, PLAINLY
DEMONSTRATED AND PROVED.

AND ALSO,

Answers to several Questions, with profitable Directions to stand
fast in the Doctrine of Jesus the Son of MARY, against those
blustering Storms of the Devil's Temptations, which do at this
Day, like so many Scorpions, break loose from the bottomless Pit,
to bite and torment those that have not tasted the Vertue of Jesus,
by the Revelation of the Spirit of God.

Published for the good of God's chosen ones, by that unworthy
servant of CHRIST, JOHN BUNYAN, of BEDFORD, By the grace of GOD,
preacher of the GOSPEL of his dear SON.

'Jesus saith,--I am the way, and the truth and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father but by me.'--John 14:6

'Neither is there salvation in any other.'--Acts 4:12


EDITOR'S ADVERTISEMENT.

This was the first work published by the indefatigable servant of
Christ, John Bunyan; and he modestly sought the patronage of his
brethren in the ministry, and Messrs. Burton, Spencly and Child
wrote prefatory recommendations. The latter of these, Mr. John
Child, for some temporal advantages afterwards conformed; and
became notorious for having, in a fit of despair, destroyed himself.

Well might Bunyan in this treatise, call the early period of his
ministry 'distracted and dangerous times,' in which many a poor
sincere inquirer stood 'tottering and shaking,' bewildered with the
new din of sectaries, each boldly declaring his divine authority.
In the midst of this storm of contending opinions, Bunyan stood
forth conspicuously to declare 'Gospel Truths'; and to open and
vindicate them these discourses were written. To enable the reader
to understand and appreciate them, it will be needful to take a
rapid glance at the state of society which then prevailed. The
frivolities of dress and laxity of morals introduced by James
the First, increased by the mixture of French fashions under the
popish wife of Charles the First, had spread their debauching
influence throughout the kingdom. George Fox, the founder of the
Society of Friends, in an address 'To such as follow the world's
fashions,' gives an almost incredible description of the tomfooleries
of dress which prevailed. 'How doth the devil garnish himself,
and the people are carried away with vanity--women plaiting their
hair--men and women powdering it, making their backs like bags
of meal. The men having store of ribbands of divers colours about
their waists, and at their knees, and in their hats. The women with
their spots on their noses, cheeks, and foreheads--rings on their
fingers--cuffs double, like a butcher in his white sleeves--ribbands
about their arms, hands, back, waists, knees--and hats like unto
fidlers' bags--is not this the devil's adorning?'[1]

At this period the iron hand of tyranny and oppression over the
worship of God had been suddenly paralyzed. The ruinous penalties,
and even capital punishments, which had enforced attendance on a
form of common prayer, and a pretence to believe articles, creeds,
and catechisms, ordained by Acts of Parliament, were removed.
Man, by nature averse to religious inquiries, was now stimulated,
under a threat of eternal ruin, personally and individually, to
seek for truth and salvation. At this time a little persecuted
band of puritans had directed every inquirer after salvation to
the sacred Scriptures, which alone were able to make wise unto
salvation, by the aid of the Holy Spirit enlightening their minds
to understand, and subduing their wills to receive those eternal
truths. But a new light was now discovered--that which lighteneth
every man that cometh into the world; and which, it was alleged,
would alone, if cherished and followed, lead the honest inquirer
into all truth. National religion, so called, had been propagated
at an incredible expense of treasure, and by the sacrifice of the
best blood in the country, to the shrine of infallibility--called
uniformity. A hireling priesthood had limited to themselves the
right to teach men how to be Christians. The result of all this
was clearly seen, when the people were driven to think and choose
for themselves. Their minds were in darkness and confusion,
which quickly produced the most whimsical, mischievous, and even
ludicrous opinions, mixed with truth.

National establishments, whether Pagan, Mohamedan, or Christian--be
this latter either Greek, Roman, or Protestant--have a direct and
natural tendency to repress and prevent personal inquiries, lest
they should interfere with uniformity in faith and worship; which is
a presumed incapability of error on the part of those who impose
them. Systems, which IN FACT, although not in words, claim
infallibility, by requiring implicit and absolute submission, must
have had a direct tendency to hoodwink and blind the people; nor
can we be surprised, that when their eyes were first opened, they
saw indistinctly; or, to use a scripture phrase, 'men as trees
walking.' They utterly failed in preparing the mind to receive divine
truth, or in furnishing an antidote to extravagant speculations
in religion.

The state of the millions can hardly be conceived; they had paid
a priest to think on religion for them--to read the Bible for
them--and to pray for them. They had paid the church to make them
Christians--to confirm them--to forgive their sins--and to bury
their bodies in sure and certain hope of heaven. From this fatal
sleep of ignorance and error, they were aroused by itinerant
preachers; many of whom were men of education, of irreproachable
morals, and most benevolent habits. They went forth upon their
mission at a fearful sacrifice of comfort, property, health, and
even of life; calling all to repentance, and to obey the light
within--to follow on to perfection in this life--and, at the
same time, denouncing all hireling ministers. They were called
in derision, Familists, Ranters, Quakers, New Lights, &c. The
old leaven, which had led the people without inquiry to follow
the priests, now operated on multitudes to follow those ardent
and self-denying leaders. The Familists, or family of love, were
consistent in their lives;--considered every day a sabbath, and
baptized none under thirty years of age. The Ranters mingled a
little truth with much error--abused their Christian liberty--and
lived licentiously, and were a scandal to religion. The Quakers--so
called from their trembling agitation when under a powerful sense
of eternal realities, and because, in preaching, they admonished
their hearers to tremble and quake at the word of God--considered
the sacraments as mere ceremonies, inconsistent with spiritual
worship--lived and dressed with the utmost simplicity, and took
the lead in attacking error at all risks.

These itinerants went through the whole length and breadth of the
land, and in every place of public resort they made proclamation.
In fairs, markets, meetings, assizes, and steeple-houses, their
voice was heard denouncing evil and exhorting to righteousness.
Short weights and deceit were declared an abomination to the
Lord, in fairs and markets. Every religious delusion was exposed
in meetings and parish churches. The journals of George Fox, and
others, are exceedingly interesting in recounting their hazardous
adventures, zeal, and no ordinary degree of ready wit and talent.
Some of these itinerants came to Bedford, and in the parish church,
called 'the steeple-house,' in Bedford town, on the 23d of May,
1656, they met John Bunyan, probably after he had been ministering
there. With him they held a public disputation or controversy, to
which allusions are made by both parties,[2] and in Bunyan they
met a master spirit who confounded them. The subjects in dispute
were of the deepest importance--the work of the Holy Spirit in
conversion--the authority of the Bible--the perfection of holiness
in this life--and whether it was lawful to perform the work of
the ministry for hire.

After a very careful perusal of E. Burrough's answers to Bunyan,
it is gratifying to find that the whole truth is set forth in
the following pages;--some of the facts are worthy of a careful
notice. The Baptists and Independents had long existed in this
country, and had published confessions of faith. The Ranters and
Familists existed not as sects but in name, and soon disappeared.
The Quakers, who were confounded with the Ranters and Familists,
were not at this time formed into a society; nor had they published
any book of discipline. The Society of Friends were some years
after united, and have been one of the most useful as well as
the brightest ornaments to this kingdom. The works of Fox, Penn,
Barclay, and others, with their books of discipline, and yearly
epistles, shew that they, to a very great extent, agree with Bunyan
in his sentiments; and it is well worthy of notice that, in the
latter part of his life, when he wrote his admirable treatise
on the resurrection of the dead, he does not accuse the Society
of Friends with holding any false opinions. Bunyan is clear and
scriptural upon the 'Light within,' or that conscience of right
and wrong which all possess to their condemnation--as distinguished
from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the gift of God to his
people, revealing in them the pardon of sin and hope of glory, by
opening their understandings to receive the truths of the Bible.
When Ann Blakeley bid Bunyan 'throw away the Scriptures,' he
replied, 'No, for then the devil would be too hard for me.'[3] And
when accused of being a hireling priest, how triumphant was the
reply--it ought to be printed in letters of gold. He was charged
with making merchandize of souls, and he answered--'Friend, dost
thou speak this from thy own knowledge, or did any other tell thee
so? However, that spirit that led thee out this way is a lying
spirit. For though I be poor, and of no repute in the world, as
to outward things; yet through grace I have learned by the example
of the apostle, to preach the truth; and also to work with my
hands, both for my own living, and for those that are with me,
when I have opportunity. And I trust that the Lord Jesus, who hath
helped me to reject the wages of unrighteousness hitherto, will
also help me still, so that I shall distribute that which God hath
given me FREELY, and not for filthy lucre's sake.'[4] How does
this contrast with the description of the state clergy, before
the triers were appointed.[5]

Favoured by the kind assistance of Charles Bowden, the secretary
to the Society of Friends, access was afforded me to the extensive
library in Devonshire House, and upon collation of Bunyan's
quotations with the original editions of Burrough's exceedingly
rare tracts, my gratification was great to find that every extract
made by John Bunyan was perfectly faithful.

Edward Burrough, called a son of thunder and of consolation,
answered both these treatises of Bunyan's,--denying, on the part
of the Quakers, many of the charges made against them, as connected
with the Ranters. He was a man of great talent--fearless, devoted,
and pious. He became extensively useful; and like thousands of
most excellent men, was sacrificed at the shrine of that fanatical
church over which the profligate and debauched Charles the Second
was the supreme head. He died in the prime of life, receiving the
crown of martyrdom, when his happy spirit ascended from Newgate
in 1662: aged 28 years.

No sect was so severely tormented as the Quakers. A fanatical
clergyman, Edward Lane, in a book called 'Look unto Jesus,' 1663,
thus pours forth his soul, breathing out cruelty--'I hope and pray
the Lord to incline the heart of his majesty our religious King,
to suppress the Quakers, that none of them may be suffered to abide
in the land.' A prayer as full of cruelty against a most peaceful
and valuable part of the community, as it was hypocritical in
calling a debauched and profligate man [Charles the Second] 'our
religious king.'

Controversy was carried on in those days with extreme virulence;
learned and unlettered men alike used violent language, which, in
this enlightened and comparatively happy age, is read with wonder.
Burrough called his answer 'The Gospel of Peace contended for in
the spirit of meekness and of love.' He meekly commences with--'How
long, ye crafty fowlers, will ye prey upon the innocent; how long
shall the righteous be a prey to your teeth, ye subtle foxes; your
dens are in darkness, and your mischief is hatched upon your beds
of secret whoredoms.' He says, 'I own the words but I deny thy
voice.' Such was the unhallowed spirit of controversy in that
age. A harsh epithet was called faithful dealing: thus, a learned
clergyman, writing upon Baptism, entitled his work--'The Anabaptists
ducked and plunged over head and ears--washed and shrunk in the
washing'; to which an equally learned Baptist replied, in his
'Baby Baptism mere Babyism.' All this unseemly violence has passed
away, and with it much of the virulence of persecution; soon may
it pass away altogether, only to be pointed at as the evidence
of a barbarous age. We now look back to cruelties perpetrated in
the times of Bunyan by the national religion, as a stigma upon
human nature. 'What a church is this of yours, to be defended by
gaols, and prisons, and whips, and stocks, and violent dealing.'
'Let us fairly try our spiritual weapons, and not carnal cruel
tortures.' 'Let us not hurt or imprison each other, nor put in
the stocks, nor cruelly whip and lacerate each others' bodies; but
let us thrash deceit, whip and beat that and all false doctrines':
these were the breathings of our pilgrim forefathers,--it is the
language of common sense and of real religion. May such sentiments
spread, and soon cover the earth!--GEO. OFFOR.

FOOTNOTES:

1. George Fox's Journal, folio, p. 144.

2. See Burrough's Works, p. 304.

3. Page 201.

4. Page 201.

5. Page 178.



THE AUTHOR TO THE READER.

Seeing the Lord hath been pleased to put it into my heart, to
write a few things to thee (Reader) touching those things which
are most surely believed by all those that are, or shall be saved
(Luke 1:1; Acts 13:38). I think it meet also, to stir up thy
heart by way of remembrance, touching those things that are the
hindrances of thy believing the things that are necessary to the
welfare of thine immortal soul. And indeed, this is the only thing
necessary; it is better to lose all that ever thou hast, than to
have thy soul and body for ever cast into hell; And therefore,
I beseech thee to consider with me a few things touching the
stratagems, or subtle temptations of the devil, whereby he lieth
in wait, if by any means he may, to make thee fall short of eternal
life (1 Peter 5:8).

And first of all, he doth endeavour by all means to keep thee in
love with thy sins and pleasures, knowing that he is sure of thee,
if he can but bewitch thee to live and die in them (1 Cor 6:9,10;
2 Thess 2:12). Yea, he knows that he is as sure of thee, as if he
had thee in hell already (John 3:19). And that he might accomplish
his design on thee in this particular, he laboureth by all means
possible to keep thy conscience asleep in security and self-conceitedness,
keeping thee from all things that might be a means to awaken and
rouse up thine heart. As first, he will endeavour to keep thee
from hearing of the word, by suggesting unto [thee] this and the
other worldly business which must be performed; so that thou wilt
not want excuse to keep thee from the ordinances of Christ, in
hearing, reading, meditation, &c., or else, he seeks to disturb,
and distract thy mind when thou art conversant in these things,
that thou canst not attend to them diligently, and so they become
unprofitable; or else if thou art a little more stirred, he labours
to rock thee asleep again, by casting thee upon, and keeping thee
in evil company, as among rioters, drunkards, jesters, and other
of his instruments, which he employeth on purpose to keep thee
secure, and so ruin thy soul and body for ever and ever.

If not thus, then peradventure he will seek to persuade thee it
is but a melancholy fit, and will put thee upon the works of thy
calling, or thy pleasures, or phys; or some other trick he will
invent, such as best agreeth with thy nature. And thus thy heart
is again deaded, and thou art kept in carnal security, that thou
mightest perish for ever. But if notwithstanding these, and many
cunning slights more which might be named, he cannot so blind, and
benumb thy conscience, but that it doth see and feel sin to be a
burden, intolerable and exceeding sinful; Then in the second place,
his design is to drive thee to despair, by persuading thee that
thy sins are too big to be pardoned; he will seek by all means
possible to aggravate them by all the circumstances of time,
place, person, manner, nature, and continuance of thy sins, he
will object in thy soul, thou hast out-sinned grace, by rejecting
so many exhortations, and admonitions, so many reproofs, so many
tenders of grace; hadst thou closed in with them it had been well
with thee, but now thou hast stood it out so long, that there is
no hope for thee: thou mightest have come sooner, if thou didst
look to be saved, but now it is too late. And withal, that he
might carry on his design upon thee to purpose, he will be sure to
present to thy conscience, the most sad sentences of the scripture;
yea, and set them home with such cunning arguments, that, if it
be possible, he will make thee despair, and make away thyself, as
did Judas.

But if he be prevented in this his intended purpose; the next
thing he doth beset thee with, is to make thee rest upon thine own
righteousness, telling thee, that if thou wilt needs be saved,
thou must earn heaven with thy fingers' ends; and it may be,
he represents to thy soul such a scripture; 'If thou doest well,
shalt thou not be accepted?' And thou having (but in the strength
of nature) kept thyself from thy former grosser pollutions, and
it may be from some more secret sins, are ready to conclude, now
thou dost well; now God accepts thee; now he will pardon, yea,
hath pardoned thee; now thy condition is good, and so goest on
till thou meetest with a searching word, and ministry, which tells
thee, and discovers plainly unto thee, that thou doest all this
while deceive thyself, by a vain hope and confidence; for tho' thou
seek after the law of righteousness, thou hast not yet attained
to the law of righteousness, nor yet canst, because thou seekest
it 'not by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law' (Rom
9:31,32). Here again, thou art left in the mire, and now peradventure
thou seest, that thou art not profited by the works of the law,
nor thy own righteousness: And this makes thee stir a little, but
in process of time, (through the subtle sleights of the devil, and
the wickedness of thine own heart;) thou forgettest thy trouble
of conscience, and slippest into a notion of the gospel, and the
grace thereof, and now thou thinkest thyself cock-sure: Now thou
art able to say, 'He that lives and dies in his sins, shall be
damned for them: He that trusts in his own righteousness, shall
not be saved': Now thou canst cry, 'grace, grace, it's freely by
grace, it's through the death of the man Christ Jesus, that sinners
do attain unto eternal life' (Heb 9:14). This, I say, thou hast
in the notion, and hast not the power of the same in thine heart,
and so it may be thine head is full of the knowledge of the
scriptures, though thine heart be empty of sanctifying grace. And
thus thou dost rejoice for a time. Yet because thou hast not the
root of the matter within thee, in time of temptation thou fallest
away (Luke 8:13).

Now being in this condition, and thinking thyself to be wondrous
well, because of that notion of the truth, and that notion thou
hast in the things of God: I say, being in this state, thou art
liable to these dangers.

First, Thou art like to perish if thou die with this notion in
thine head, except God out of his rich grace do work a saving work
of grace and knowledge in thy heart; for know this, thou mayest
understand glorious mysteries, and yet be a cast-away (1 Cor
13:1-3). Or else,

Secondly, Thou art liable to the next damnable heresy that the
devil sendeth into the world. See and consider Luke 8:13; 2 Timothy
2:18. I say, thou dost lie liable to be carried away with it, and
to be captivated by it; so that at last, through the delusions of
the devil, thou mayest have thy conscience seared as with an hot
iron, so hard, that neither law, nor gospel, can make any entrance
thereinto, to the doing of thee the least good. And indeed, who
are the men that at this day are so deluded by the quakers, and
other pernicious doctrines; but those who thought it enough to
be talkers of the gospel, and grace of God, without seeking and
giving all diligence to make it sure unto themselves? 'And for
this cause God' [shall send] hath sent 'them strong delusion,
that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned, who
believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness,' as
it is written (2 Thess 2:11,12). And indeed if you mark it, you
shall see, that they be such kind of people, who at this day are
so carried away with the quakers' delusions; namely, a company
of loose ranters, and light notionists, with here and there
a legalist, which were shaking in their principles from time to
time, sometimes on this religion, sometimes on that.[1] And thus
these unstable souls are deluded and beguiled at last (2 Peter
2:14). So that these who before (as one would have thought)
had something of God in them, are now turned such enemies to the
glorious truths of the gospel, that there are none so obstinately
erroneous as they. And indeed it is just with God, to give them
over to 'believe a lie' (2 Thess 2:11), who before were so idle
that they would not receive the truth of God into their hearts,
in the love of it. And to be bewitched by the devil to obey his
temptations, and be damned, who would not obey the truth, that
they might be saved (Gal 3:1).

But you will say, what lies are those, that the devil beguileth
poor souls withal? I shall briefly tell you some of them, but
having before said, that they especially are liable to the danger
of them, who slip into high notions, and rest there; taking that
for true faith which is not. I shall desire thee seriously to
consider this one character of a NOTIONIST. Such an one, whether
he perceives it or not, is puffed up in his fleshly mind, and
advanceth himself above others, thinking but few may compare with
him for religion and knowledge in the scriptures, but are ignorant
and foolish in comparison of him: (Thus knowledge puffeth up, (1
Cor 8:1)) whereas when men receive truth in the love of the truth,
the more the head and heart is filled with the knowledge of the
mystery of godliness, the more it is emptied of its own things,
and is more sensible of its own vileness, and so truly humbled in
its own eyes.

And further, a notionist, though he fall from his former strictness
and seeming holiness, and appear more loose, and vain in his
practices, yet speaks as confidently of himself, as to assurance
of salvation, the love of God, and union with God, as ever. But
now to return, and declare some of those lies which the devil
persuades some of these men to believe.

I. That salvation was not fully, and completely wrought out for
poor sinners by the man Christ Jesus, though he did it gloriously
(Acts 13:38,39), by his death upon the cross, without the gates
of Jerusalem (Heb 13:12 compared with John 19:19,20).

II. This is another of his lies wherewith he doth deceive poor
sinners, bidding them follow the light that they brought into the
world with them, telling them, that light will lead them to the
kingdom; for (say they) it will convince of sin, as swearing,
lying, stealing, covetousness, and the rest of the sins against
the law (Rom 3:20). But 'the law is not of faith' (Gal 3:13). And
then I am sure, that it, with all its motions and convictions, is
never able to justify the soul of any poor sinner. 'For as many
as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is
written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things
which are written in the book of the law to do them' (Gal 3:10),
but that no man is justified by the law is evident, 'for, The
just shall live by faith' (v 11). Now because I am not altogether
ignorant of the delusion of the devil touching this grace of faith
also, I shall therefore in short give thee (reader) a brief, yet
true description from the scripture. 1. What true justifying faith
is, and what it lays hold upon. 2. I shall shew who it doth come
from. 3. That every one hath it not. 4. What are the fruits of
it.

1. First therefore, true faith is a fruit, work, or gift of the
Spirit of God (Gal 5:22; 2 Thess 1:11; 1 Cor 12:9) whereby a poor
soul is enabled through the mighty operation of God (Col 2:12)
in a sense of its sins and wretched estate to lay hold on the
righteousness, blood, death, resurrection, ascension, intercession,
and coming again of the Son of God which was crucified without the
gates of Jerusalem, for eternal life (John 3:16-18 compared with
Matt 3:17; Gal 2:20; Rom 5:8-10; Rom 3:25; Acts 16:31; Heb 13:12)
according to that saying in Hebrews 11:1 'Now faith is the substance
of things hoped for,' and 'the evidence of things not seen,' that
is, the things that are hoped for faith sees, lays hold upon, and
embraces them (Heb 11:13) as if they were present; yea, it seals
up the certainty of them to the soul. Therefore saith the Apostle,
it is the evidence, or testimony, or witness, of those things
that are not seen as yet with a bodily eye; which are obtained
by the blood of the man Christ Jesus (Heb 9:14 compared with Heb
10:12,19,20) by which the soul sees as in a glass the things that
God hath laid up for them that fear him (1 Cor 13:12; 2 Cor 3:18).

2. If you would know who this faith comes from, read Ephesians 2:8
'For by grace ye are saved [saith the scripture] through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.' Again,
in Philippians 1:29 it is thus written: 'For unto you [that are
believers] it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe
on him, but also to suffer for his sake'; And thus much do the
Apostles hold forth to us in their prayer, or request to the Lord
Jesus, when they say, 'Lord increase our faith' (Luke 17:5), and
he is therefore called 'the author and finisher of our faith'
(Heb 12:2). Also we find in James 1:17 that 'Every good gift and
every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father
of lights,' &c., and therefore faith comes from God, for true
justifying faith is a good gift, and perfect in respect of the
author God, in respect of its object, Christ; and in respect of
the nature, though not in respect of the degree, and measure of
it in us: even as a grain of gold, is as perfect gold, as a pound
of gold, though not so much.

3. All men have not faith, this the Apostle witnesseth in so many
words as we find (2 Thess 3:2; Deut 32:20). Also in Timothy 1:15
'Unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure,'
&c. It appeareth also in this, that all do not attain salvation,
which they must needs do if they had true justifying faith (compare
Luke 13:24 and 1 John 5:19 with Mark 16:16. And Heb 4:3 with vv
6 and 11 'they that believe shall be saved').

4. The fruits of it are, (1.) to purify the heart (Acts 15:9;
1 John 3:3), and that, as I said before, by laying hold on what
Jesus Christ had done and suffered for sinners (Acts 13:38,39).
(2.) It fills the soul with peace and joy, in that it lays hold
on the things that are obtained for it (Rom 5:1; 2 Tim 1:9,10;
1 Peter 1:8). (3.) It makes the soul to wait patiently, for the
glory that is to be revealed at the second appearing of the man
Christ Jesus, whom God hath raised from the dead, which hath also
delivered it from the wrath to come, as in Timothy 2:13, 14; 1
Peter 4:13 and 5:1, 4; 1 Thessalonians 1:10.

Quest.--But how (may some say) doth the devil make his delusions
take place in the hearts of poor creatures?

Ans. 1.--Why, first, He labours to render the doctrine of the
Lord Jesus, and salvation by him alone, very odious and low: and
also his ordinances, as hearing, reading, meditation, use of the
scriptures, &c. telling poor sinners that these things are but
poor, low, carnal, beggarly, empty notions; preached up by the
clergymen, who are the scribes and pharisees of this generation;
who have the letter, but not the Spirit of God in them; which lead
men into the form, but not into the power of the Lord Jesus: And
with this persuasion, he also represents the ungodly and base
carriage, or behaviour, of some, who have taken in hand to preach
the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ, and thereby he doth render
the gospel of our Lord Jesus the more contemptible and base. But
woe, woe, woe, be to them by whom such offences come (Matt 18:7;
Luke 17:1,2).

Ans. 2. He pretends to lead them up into some higher light,
mysteries, and revelations of the Spirit, into which a very few
have attained or can attain, also bewitching their affections,
and taking them with an earnest pursuit after these his pretended
truths; persuading them, that they shall be as God himself, able
to discern between good and evil (Gen 3:5). And in this he is
exceeding subtle and expert, as having practised it ever since
the days of Adam. These things being thus considered, and in some
measure hungered after, and the rather because they are good (as
they think) to make one wise (Gen 3:6). The poor soul is all on
the sudden possessed with a desperate spirit of delusion, which
carries it away headlong with some high, light, frothy notions, and
spiritual wickedness (which drown it in perdition and destruction)
that doth feed and tickle the heart a while, to the end it may
make way for a farther manifestation of itself in the poor deluded
soul; which when it hath attained to, it doth then begin to bring
the soul into a clearer sight of those things, which it was loth
it should know at the first; but having fitted the soul by degrees
for a further possession of itself, at last it begins to hold forth
its new gospel; shewing the soul a new Christ, and new scriptures.
The new and false Christ, is a Christ crucified within, dead
within, risen again within, and ascended within, in opposition to
the Son of Mary, who was crucified without, dead without, risen
again without, and ascended in a cloud away from his disciples
into heaven without them (Acts 1:9-11).

Now this new and false Christ, hath a new and false faith belonging
to his gospel, which faith is this, to apprehend this Christ
crucified within, dead within, risen again within, and ascended
within: But ask them for a scripture that doth positively prove
their doctrine, they also have a scripture, but it is within, it
doth bear witness within, and if they had not that, (though that
be of the devil's making) I am sure they would have none out of
God's holy scriptures, for they will allow of no crucified Christ,
but he that was crucified without the gates of Jerusalem (Heb
13:12; John 19:17,18). Dead and buried in the sepulchre of Joseph
of Arimathea (John 19:38-41). Was raised again out of that sepulchre
into which Joseph had laid him (John 20:1-12). Who went before his
disciples into Galilee (Mark 16:7). And to Emmaus (Luke 24:15).
Shewed them his hands and his feet, where the nails had gone through
(Luke 24:39,40). Did eat and drink with them after his resurrection:
Was seen of them on earth forty days after his resurrection (Acts
1:3). And after that ascended away in a cloud, out of the sight of
his disciples into heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Which Christ ever lives
to make intercession for us (Heb 7:25). Who will come again also
at the end of the world to judgment (Acts 10:42, 17:31; 2 Peter
3:10,11). Who also is the same that hath obtained eternal redemption
for us (Acts 13:37-39; Rom 3:25; Eph 1:7; Rev 1:5; Heb 1:2, 9:14).
This I say, or rather the scriptures say, is God's Christ (Matt
16:16). In whom he is well pleased (Matt 3:17). Neither doth God
own any other, or allow of any other: For there is none other name
under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, than the
name of Jesus of Nazareth (Acts 4:10 compared with vv 11,12). But
as I told you before, the way to be thus deluded, is first to
render God's Christ odious and low, with a pretence of some further
light and revelations; and thus professing themselves to be wise,
they became fools (Rom 1:22).

Quest.--But you will say, doth not the scripture make mention of
a Christ within? (Col 1:27; 2 Cor 13:5; Rom 8:10).

Ans.--I answer, God's Christ was, and is, true God and true man;
he was born of the Virgin Mary, true God, and true man (Matt 1:23).
'And they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted
is, God with us,' or God in our nature, according to 1 Timothy
3:16 'God was manifested in the flesh': And John 1:14 'the word
was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the
glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and
truth.' And in Hebrews 2:14 'Forasmuch then as the children are
partakers of flesh and blood, he,' that is, God (Heb 1:8), 'also
himself likewise took part of the same, that through death he might
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.' Now
as he was thus true God, and true man, so he became our redeemer
and Saviour. Compare the first and second chapters to the Hebrews
together, and you may clearly see that this is a glorious truth,
that he who is the first and the last (Rev 1:17,18, 2:8) humbled
himself, and made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the
form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And was
this all? No. He humbled himself unto death, even the death of
the cross (Phil 2:7,8 compared with Rev 1:17,18 and Rev 2:8 with
Gal 1:4). Now after this Christ of God, true God and true man,
had wrought out eternal redemption for us poor miserable sinners
(Heb 9:14 compared with 1 Tim 1:15). I say, after he had done
this, he ascended up into heaven, and there ever lives to make
intercession for us. Now this Christ, having thus completely wrought
out our salvation, sends his disciples abroad to preach the same
to poor sinners (Acts 2; 2 Cor 5:19,20) and so many as were ordained
to eternal life, when they heard the word, or the gospel preached
by the Apostles, which gospel was this Christ (1 Cor 1:17 compared
with v 23). I say, so many as were ordained to eternal life, when
they heard the word, the Holy Ghost or Spirit of Christ, fell upon
them (Acts 10:44 compared with Acts 13:48) which did lead them
into the redemption and glorious things that the Lord Jesus had
laid up and prepared for them (John 16:13-15; 1 Cor 2:9). Which
Spirit was the earnest of their inheritance, until the redemption
of the purchased possession, to the praise of his glory (Eph 1:13,14).
The earnest of their inheritance was a glorious encouragement to
them that had it, to hope for the glory that was to be revealed
at the appearing of Jesus Christ, which is the meaning of that
place in Colossians 1:27. And that will be seen clearly, if we
compare it with Ephesians 1:13,14 before recited. Now this Spirit,
which sometimes is called the Spirit of Christ (2 Cor 13:5). This
Spirit, I say, being given to all those that were ordained to
eternal life, it must needs follow, that those that had not this
Spirit, but did live and die without it, were not ordained to
eternal life, and so were none of Christ's; but were reprobates
(Rom 8:9) for the Spirit of Christ is the distinguishing character
betwixt a believer and an unbeliever, he that hath it, and is led
by it, is a child of God (Rom 7:4), but he that hath it not is
none of Christ's.

So then, the answer that I give to the question, is this. The
Spirit of Christ that is given to believers, is the earnest or
hope of that inheritance that Christ hath already purchased, and
is now preparing for so many as he hath given, or shall give this
holy spirit unto. And for the proof hereof, read Ephesians 1:13,
14. In whom (saith the scripture) ye also trusted, after that ye
heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. In whom
also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit
of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance; (which
inheritance is the eternal redemption that was purchased by Christ
for poor sinners (Heb 9:15)) until the redemption of the purchased
possession, unto the praise of his glory. Again (Gal 5:5), 'For ye
through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.'
And (Col 1:27) the Apostle speaking of this great mystery, saith,
'To whom God would make know what is the riches of the glory of
this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you the hope of
glory'; which glory was then revealed to the saints no otherwise
than by faith, as the Apostle saith, 'We rejoice in hope of the
glory of God' (Rom 5:2). Which hope is begotten by the Spirit's
shedding abroad the love of God in our hearts (v 5), which hope
is not yet seen, that is, not yet actually enjoyed; 'For we are
saved by hope: But hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man
seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see
not, then do we with patience wait for it' (Rom 8:24,25). And as
I say, the cause of believers' hope is this, Christ, or the Spirit
of Christ, in them, the hope of glory. And indeed he may well hope
for glory to come, who hath already an earnest thereof given him
of God, and that earnest no less than the Spirit of the Lord Jesus
(Rom 8:16,17).

But now, this Spirit, which is the cause of a believer's hope,
all men have not (Jude 19; Eph 2:12; Rom 8:9; John 14:16,17).
Therefore what a sad doctrine is that which saith, follow the light
that Christ hath enlightened every man withal, which cometh into
the world; which light is the conscience, that convinceth of sins
against the law; and that you may see clearly if you mind that
scripture (John 8:9) which saith, That the Pharisees, [which
had neither the love of God, nor his word, abiding in them (John
5:38,43)] when they had heard Christ speaking thus to them, He
that is without sin among you, &c. being convicted by their own
consciences, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even
to the least. But the devil, that he might be sure not to miss of
his design, labours by all means to render the scriptures also
odious and low, telling them of the scriptures within; which
Christ never taught, nor yet his disciples: But they being given
up of God to a reprobate mind, have given themselves over, rather
to follow the suggestions of the devil, than the holy scriptures
which God hath commanded us to betake ourselves to (Isa 8:20
compared with John 5:39) which scripture is called the sword of
the Spirit (Eph 6:17), which weapon our Lord Jesus himself held
up, to overcome the devil withal (Matt 4:4,7,10; Luke 4:4,8,12).
But this design (as I told you) the devil carries on, by pretending
to shew them a more excellent way which they may attain to, if
they be but wise, and follow what is made known unto them from
the light within them.

But, reader, that thou mayest be able to escape the snare of this
cunning hunter, I shall lay thee down some few directions, which
if the Lord give thee grace to follow, thou shalt escape these
WICKED DELUSIONS.

Direct. 1. And first of all, I do admonish thee to be very serious
touching thine estate and condition; and examine thine own heart
by the rule of the word of God, whether or no, thou hast as yet
any beginnings of desiring after religion: and if thou findest that
thou hast lived until now in ignorance, and hast not set thyself
to remember thy Creator as thou art commanded (Eccl 12:1), then
I beseech thee consider that thou art under the wrath of Almighty
God, and hast been so ever since thou camest into the world (Eph
2:1,2), being then in thy first parents, those didst transgress
against thy maker (Rom 5:18), 'Therefore as by the offence
of one,' that is, of Adam (v 14), 'judgment came upon all men
to condemnation.' Besides the many SINS thou hast committed ever
since thou wast born: sins against the law of God, and sins against
the gospel of the grace of God; sins against the long-suffering
and forbearance of God, and sins against his judgments; sins of
omission, and sins of commission, in thoughts, words, and actions:
consider, I say, thy condition; yea, get a very great sense of thy
sins that thou hast committed; and that thou mayest so do, beg of
God to convince thee by his Holy Spirit, not only of sins against
law, but also of that damning sin, the sin of unbelief.

Direct. 2. If thou by grace, art but brought into such an estate
as to see thyself in a lost condition because of sin, without the
Lord Jesus; then in the next place, have a care of resting on any
DUTY done, though it be never so specious; I say, have a care of
making any stay anywhere on this side the Lord Jesus Christ: but
above all strive to believe, that that very Man that was born of
the Virgin Mary, did come into the world on purpose to save thee,
as well as other poor sinners: I say, thou must not be content
till thou art enabled to say, 'He loved me, and gave himself for
me' (Gal 2:20). And that thou mayest be sure to attain to this
most precious faith, (for so it is) be much in applying the freest
promises to thy own soul; yea, those that have no conditions annexed
to them, as these, or other like (Rev 22:17; Jer 31:3, John 6:37
also 14:19; Hosea 14:3). I say, labour to apply to thy own soul
in particular, the most glorious and freest promises in the book
of God. And if at any time the devil besets thee by his temptations,
(for so is his wonted manner to do, and so much the more, as he
sees thee labour to get out of his reach) I say, when he assails
thee with his fiery darts, be sure to act faith on the most free
promises, and have a care that thou dost not enter into any dispute
with him, but rather resist him by those blessed promises that
are laid down in the word of God: And withal, be sure to meditate
upon the blood of the man Christ Jesus, who also is the true God,
and read those scriptures that do most fully and clearly speak of
it (as 1 John 1:7; Eph 1:7; Heb 9:14; Rom 3:25).

Direct. 3. But if thou say (as it is often the speech of poor
souls lying under a sense of sin, and the apprehensions of wrath
due to it) I cannot apply the promises to mine own soul; and the
reason is, because my SINS are so great, and so many. Consider,
and know it for a truth, that the more and greater thou seest thy
sins to be, the more cause hast thou to believe; yea, thou must
therefore believe because thy sins are great: David made it an
encouragement to himself, or rather the Spirit of the Lord made
it his encouragement, to crave, yea to hope for pardon, because
he had greatly transgressed (Psa 25:11). 'For thy name's sake,
O Lord, [saith he] pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.' As if
he had said, O Lord, thy name will be more glorified, the riches
of thy grace will be more advanced, thy mercy and goodness will
more shine, and be magnified in pardoning me who am guilty of
great iniquity, than if thou pardonest many others who have not
committed such heinous offences. And I dare say, the reason why
thou believest not, is not because thy sins are great, but because
thou dost reason too much with that wicked enemy of man's salvation,
and givest way too much to the fleshly reasoning of thine own
heart. For Christ hath said, 'He that cometh unto me, I will in
no wise cast out' (John 6:37). And again, 'Though your sins be as
scarlet, they shall be as white as snow' (Isa 1:18). And Christ
calleth those that labour, and are heavy laden, to come to him,
with promise to give them rest (Matt 11:28). Wherefore thou must
not say, my sins are too big; but thou must say, because I am a
great sinner; yea, because I have sinned above many of my companions,
and am nearer to hell, and eternal damnation than they, because
of my sins, therefore will I cry unto the Lord, and say, O Lord,
pardon my sins, for they are great.

Now that thou mayest not be deceived in a matter of so great
concernment, have a special care of these three things.

Caution 1. First, Have a care of putting off thy trouble of spirit
the wrong way, which thou mayest do three ways; (1.) When thy
conscience flieth in thy face, and tells thee of thy sins, thou
dost put off convictions the wrong way, if thou dost stop thy
conscience by promising to reform thyself, and lead a new life,
and gettest off thy guilt by so doing: for though thou mayest by
this means still and quiet thy conscience for a time, yet thou
canst not hereby satisfy and appease the wrath of God: yea, saith
God to such, 'Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much
soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me' (Jer 2:22).

(2.) If when thou art under the guilt of thy sins, thou puttest
off convictions by thy performance of DUTIES, and so satisfiest
thy conscience, then also thou dost put off thy convictions the
wrong way: for God will not be satisfied with anything less than
the blood, righteousness, resurrection, and intercession of his
own Son (Acts 4:12). And thou shouldest not satisfy thyself with
any less than God would have thee to satisfy thyself withal, and
that is the water of life (Isa 55:1,2) which water of life thy
duties, and all thy righteousness, is not; for they are as filthy
rags (Isa 64:6).

(3.) Have a care that when thou art under conviction, thou dost
not satisfy thyself with a notion of the free grace of the gospel;
my meaning is, do not content thyself with any measure of knowledge
that thou canst attain unto, or bottom thy peace upon it, thinking
thou art now well enough, because thou canst speak much of the
grace of God, and his love in Christ to poor sinners. For this
thou mayest have, and do; and yet be but a companion for Demas,
yea, for Judas and the rest of the damned multitude: As the Apostle
saith, For all this thou mayest be but as sounding brass, and as
a tinkling cymbal; that is, nothing but a sound (1 Cor 13:1-3).

Caution 2. But Secondly, If thou wouldest not be deceived, then
have a care to avoid false doctrines, which are according to the
spirit of the devil, and not after Christ. As,

(1.) If any doctrine doth come unto thee, that tells thee, except
thou art circumcised after the manner of Moses, thou canst not
be saved: that is, if any man come unto thee, and tell thee, thou
must do such and such works of the law, to the end thou mayest
present thyself the better before God, do not receive him: For
'to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth
the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness' (Rom 4:5).

(2.) If any come unto thee, and bring such a doctrine as this; That
thou mayest be saved by grace, though thou walk in the imaginations
of thy own wicked heart: His doctrine also is devilish, do not
receive him (Deut 29:19-23).

(3.) But if any come unto thee, and doth in truth advance the blood,
righteousness, resurrection, intercession, and second coming of
that very Man in the clouds of heaven, that was born of the virgin
Mary; and doth press thee to believe on what he hath done (shewing
thee thy lost condition without him) and to own it as done for
thee in particular, and withal doth admonish thee, not to trust in
a bare notion of it, but to receive it into thy heart, so really,
that thy very heart and soul may burn in love to the Lord Jesus
Christ again: and doth also teach thee, that the love of Christ
should and must constrain thee, not to live to thyself: But to
him that loved thee, and gave himself for thee (2 Cor 5:14,15;
Eph 4:21-24; 1 Cor 7:23). 'Ye are bought with a price; be not ye
the servants of men.' If his conversation be also agreeable to
his doctrine, a believing, honest, loving self-denying, courteous
conversation, (he also is a true Christian). Receive that doctrine
and receive it really; for it is the doctrine of God, and of
Christ (Gal 4:4, 1:4; Eph 1:7; Rev 1:5; Acts 13:38; John 1:29;
Acts 4:12, 10:40-42; 1 Thess 1:10; Mark 13; 2 Peter 1:5-10).
Considering the end of their conversation Jesus Christ, yesterday,
and to-day, and the same for ever (Heb 13:7,8).

Caution 3. Again, If thou wouldest not be deceived, then beware
of slighting any known truth that thou findest revealed, or made
known to thee in the gospel; but honour and obey it in its place,
be it (as thou thinkest) never so low (John 14:15).

(1.) Have a care that thou do not undervalue, or entertain low
thoughts of God, Christ the Son of Mary, and the holy scriptures,
but search them (John 5:39). And give attendance to the reading
of them (1 Tim 4:13). For, I will tell thee, he that slights the
scriptures, doth also slight him of whom they testify. And I will
tell thee also, that for this cause God hath given up many to
strong delusions, that they might believe a lie: 'that they all
might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness' (2 Thess 2:11,12).

(2.) Therefore I say unto thee, In the name of the Lord Jesus,
the Son of Mary, the Son of God, the very creator of heaven and
earth, and all things that are therein; have a care of thyself;
for the devil doth watch for thee day and night (1 Peter 5:8).
Thine own heart also doth labour to deceive thee, if by any means
it may (Jer 17:9). Therefore do not thou trust it; for if thou
do, thou wilt not do wisely (Prov 28:26). I say therefore, have a
care that thou labour in the strength of the Lord Jesus, to escape
all these things; for if thou fall into any one of them, it will
make way for a farther income of sin and the devil, through whose
deceitfulness thy heart will be hardened, and thou wilt be more
incapable of receiving instruction, or reaping advantage, by and
from the ordinances of Jesus Christ: the rather therefore, give
all diligence to believe in the Christ of God, which is the Son
of Mary, and be sure to apply all that he hath done, and is doing,
unto thyself, as for thee in particular; which thing if thou dost,
thou shalt never fall.

And now, reader, I shall also give thee some few considerations,
and so I shall commit thee to the Lord.

Consider, 1. That God doth hold out his grace, and mercy freely,
and that to every one (Rev 22:17; Isa 55:1-7).

Consider, 2. That there is no way to attain to this free mercy
and grace, but by him that was born of the Virgin Mary; for he
himself saith, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man
cometh unto the Father but by me' (John 14:6 compared with Matt
1:20,21).

Consider, 3. If thou strivest to go over any other way, thou wilt
be but a thief and a robber (John 10:1 compared with 9). And know
that none of these (so continuing) shall enter into the kingdom
of heaven (1 Cor 6:9,10).

Consider, 4. That if the devil should be too hard for thee, and
deceive thee, by persuading thee to embrace, or entertain a new
gospel, which neither Christ nor his disciples did allow of, it
would make thee gnash teeth when it is too late.

Consider, 5. That though thou hast been deluded by Satan to this
day, yet if now thine eyes be opened to see and acknowledge it,
though as yet thou hast been either exceedingly wicked (1 Tim
1:13), or an idle (Matt 20:6,7) lukewarm, hypocritical professor
(Rev 3:17-19); and hast stood it out to the last (Eze 18:20-22);
for all this there is hope; and if now thou receive the truth in
the love of the truth, being as willing to be rid of the filth of
sin, as the guilt of it, thou shalt be saved.

Consider, 6. That the Lord will call thee to judgment for all thy
sins past, present, and what else thou shalt practise hereafter,
especially for thy rejecting and trampling on the blood of his
Son, the Man Christ Jesus: And if thou dost not agree with thine
adversary, now, while thou art in the way, 'Lest he hale thee
to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the
officer cast thee into prison. I tell thee, thou shalt not depart
thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite' (Luke 12:58,59).

And therefore I beseech thee to consider; Here is at this time
life and death, heaven and hell, everlasting joy, and everlasting
torment set before thee. Here is also the way to have the one,
and the way to escape the other. Now if the Lord shall do thee any
good by what I have spoken, I hope it will be a means to stir me
up to thank the Lord that ever he did use such a sinner as I am,
in the work of his gospel. And here I shall close up what I have
said, desiring thee (if thou be a christian) to pray for him who
desires to continue.

Thy servant in the Lord Jesus Christ, though less than the least
of all saints,

JOHN BUNYAN


FOOTNOTE:

1. The word 'quakers' must not be misunderstood as referring to
the society of friends, but to some deluded individuals calling
themselves quakers; the friends were not formed into a society
for some years after this was written--Ed.



THE EPISTLE WRIT BY MR. BURTON, MINISTER AT BEDFORD

TO THE READER,

Reader, thou hast in this small treatise, set before thee, the
several pieces of that great and glorious mystery, Jesus Christ,
God manifested in the flesh: And if thou art enlightened by the
Spirit of Christ, here thou mayest see by that Spirit how Jesus
Christ the Son of God, the Son of Mary, is both true God and true
Man, both natures making but one Christ, one Jesus, as Philippians
2:5-9 where speaking first of his being God, and then of his
taking upon him the nature of man; afterwards in the 8th and 9th
verses, he saith, he (meaning this Jesus) humbled himself, &c.,
and God (meaning the Father) hath highly exalted him, &c. speaking
of both natures God and man as together making but one Christ; who
is the Saviour, and is to be believed and trusted in for salvation
not only as God, but as man also; and those who do not thus make
him the object of their faith, will surely fall short of pardon
of sin, and of salvation; 'through this man [speaking of Christ
as crucified at Jerusalem] is preached unto you the forgiveness
of sins' (Act 13:38). And saith he, there is 'one mediator between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1 Tim 2:5); and this discovers
the damnable errors of those commonly called Socinians, who on
the one hand deny him that was born of the Virgin Mary to be true
God as well as true Man: And this is also quite contrary to those
commonly called Familists, Ranters, Quakers, or others, who on
the other hand either deny Christ to be a real Man without them,
blasphemously fancying him to be only God manifest in their flesh;
or else make his human nature with the fulness of the godhead in
it, to be but a type of God, to be manifest in the saints, and
so according to their wicked imagination, his human nature was
to be laid aside after he had offered it up on the cross without
the gate at Jerusalem, contrary to Acts 1:1-3, 9-11 compared with
the last chapter of Luke, vv 39, 40, 50, 51 where it is clearly
held forth, that the man Christ rose again out of the grave, with
the same body which was crucified and laid in the grave, and was
taken up above the clouds into heaven with the same real body,
and that he shall again descend form heaven in that same glorious
body of flesh, as Acts 1:9-11. And this sure truth of Christ being
the Saviour and Mediator, as Man, and not only as God, will also
shew serious believers what to think of some, who though they
will not (it may be) deny that Christ is a real man without them
in the heavens as well as God, yet do own him to be the Saviour
only as God, first dwelling in that flesh that was born of the
Virgin, and then dwelling in saints, and thus both beginning and
perfecting their salvation within them, and so indeed do hold Christ
as Man, to be only (I say to be only) the saved or glorified one
of God, together with the saints his members, only something in
another and more glorious manner and measure than the saints; and
these high flown people are in this very like to Familists and
Quakers, undervaluing the Lord Jesus Christ, God-man, and though
they may speak much of Christ, yet they do not rightly and savingly
lay him for their foundation.

Now as a help against all these dangerous things, thou hast here
the main things of Christ laid down before thee briefly, and fully
proved by the scriptures:

First, Of his being true God out of flesh from eternity, and then
of his taking flesh, or the nature of man upon him in the womb of
the Virgin, and so his fulfilling the law, his dying for sins at
Jerusalem, his rising again without, his ascending into heaven
without, and not into a fancied heaven only within, as some say;
his interceding in heaven for all his, and his coming again in his
body of flesh to judge the world. And if thou art yet in a state
of nature, though covered over with an outside profession, here
thou mayest find something (if the Spirit of Christ meet thee in
reading) to convince thee of the sad condition thou art in, and
to shew thee the righteousness thou art to fly to by faith,
and to trust in for salvation, when convinced of sin; which is a
righteousness wrought by that God-man Jesus Christ without thee,
dying without thee at Jerusalem for sinners: here also thou mayest
see the difference between true and false faith. If thou art a
true believer, as these things are the foundation of thy faith, so
they may be of great use for thee to mediate upon, and to exercise
thy faith in, particularly in mediation, and in this way to seek
daily for a higher faith in these truths, to be given into thy
heart from heaven; and there is a great need of this, for though
these truths be commonly known amongst professors to the notion of
them, yet very few know or believe them aright: nay, it may well
be said in this age, that, if the faith of the true saints was well
sifted, and tradition, notion, and the apprehensions of their own
reason and fancy was sifted out, most of them would be found to
have very little knowledge of, and faith in, these common truths.

Secondly, These truths being put thus together, and plainly
proved by the scriptures, may be a great help (through the Spirit
concurring) to strengthen thee against all those damnable heresies
which are spread abroad, which deny the Lord Jesus Christ either
plainly, or more cunningly and mysteriously. And

Thirdly, The more thou art rooted and set down from heaven in the
faith of these truths of Christ, to believe fully the glorious
reality of them, and their interest in them, the more heavenly
peace and joy thou wilt have (1 Peter 1:7,8) and also thou wilt
hereby attain the more true holiness and purity of heart and life,
'purifying their hearts by faith' (Acts 15:9). And then the more
thou hast of the right faith of Christ, and of his things in thy
heart, the more strong and valiant wilt thou be in spirit, to do
any work private or public for Jesus Christ, like Stephen, who
being full of faith, and of the Holy Spirit, was also full of
power (Acts 6:8).

In this book thou hast also laid down from the scriptures, how
Jesus Christ is without the saints as Man, and yet dwelleth within
them, that is, something of his divine nature or his blessed Spirit
dwells within them, which Spirit is sometime called, The Spirit
of Christ (Rom 8:9). He that hath not the Spirit of Christ, &c.
and sometime called Christ, 'If Christ be in you' &c. (Rom 8:10).
And also how we may know whether it be Christ and the Spirit of
Christ within, or a false spirit calling itself Christ, and that
is thus; If it be indeed Christ within, that is, the Spirit of
Christ God-man; why then it teaches that man or woman in whom it
is, to apply, and trust in Christ without for salvation; Christ
as born of the Virgin Mary, as fulfilling the law without them,
as dying without the gate of Jerusalem as a sacrifice for sin; it
teaches them to trust in the Man Christ as rising again out of the
grave without them, as ascending into, and interceding in heaven
without for them; and as to come from that heaven again in his
flesh to judge the world. Thus the man Christ himself saith, 'When
he [the Spirit of truth] is come, &c. he shall glorify me' (John
16:13,14). He shall make you more to prize, admire and glorify me,
who am both God and man, and who shall be absent from you touching
my body. Then follows, for he shall take of mine (of my glorious
things) and shew them to you; he shall take my divine and human
nature, my birth, my person and offices, my obedience, death,
satisfaction, my resurrection, ascension and intercession, and of
my second coming in the clouds with my mighty angels to judgment,
and shall shew them, or clear them up to you: He shall take of my
salvation, which I have wrought for you in my own person without
you: And he shall take of my glory and exaltation in the heavens,
and shew to you. Now to mind this one thing, and to be set down in
a right understanding of it, by the Spirit, from the scriptures,
will be of great concernment to thee and me; for, for want of this,
many professors have split themselves, some looking only on what
Christ hath done and suffered without them, resting in an historical,
traditional, and indeed a fancied faith of it, without looking for
the Spirit of Jesus Christ to come with power into their hearts,
without which they cannot rightly know, nor rightly believe in
Christ the Son of God without them, so as to have any share or
interest in him, 'If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is
none of his' (Rom 8:9). Others have been depending too much upon
something they call Christ, and the righteousness of Christ within
them, in opposition to Christ and his righteousness without them,
from which all true saints have their justification and comfort,
it being received through the operation of the Spirit which dwells
in them; and however these may talk much of Christ within them,
yet it is manifest, that it is not the Spirit of Christ, but the
spirit of the devil; in that it doth not glorify, but slight and
reject the man Christ and his righteousness which was wrong without
them: Reader, in this book thou wilt not meet with high flown airy
notions, which some delight in, counting them high mysteries,
but the sound, plain, common, (and yet spiritual and mysterious)
truths of the gospel, and if thou art a believer, thou must needs
reckon them so, and the more, if thou hast not only the faith of
them in thy heart, but art daily living in the spiritual sense and
feeling of them, and of thy interest in them. Neither doth this
treatise offer to thee doubtful controversial things, or matters
of opinions, as some books chiefly do, which when insisted upon,
the weightier things of the gospel have always done more hurt
than good: But here thou hast things certain, and necessary to be
believed, which thou canst not too much study. Therefore pray, that
thou mayest receive this word which is according to the scriptures
in faith and love, not as the word of man, but as the word of God,
without respect of persons, and be not offended because Christ
holds forth the glorious treasure of the gospel to thee in a poor
earthen vessel, by one who hath neither the greatness nor the
wisdom of this world to commend him to thee; for as the scripture,
saith Christ, (who was low and contemptible in the world himself)
ordinarily chooseth such for himself, and for the doing of his
work (1 Cor 1:26-28). Not many wise men after the flesh, not many
mighty, not many noble are called: But God hath chosen the foolish
things of the world, &c. This man is not chosen out of an earthly,
but out of the heavenly university, the church of Christ, which
church, as furnished with the Spirit, gifts, and graces of Christ,
was in the beginning, and still is, and will be to the end of the
world, that out of which the word of the Lord, and so all true
gospel ministers must proceed, whether learned or unlearned, as
to human learning (1 Cor 12:27,28). And though this man hath not
the learning or wisdom of man, yet, through grace he hath received
the teaching of God, and the learning of the Spirit of Christ, which
is the thing that makes a man both a Christian and a minister of
the gospel. 'The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,'
&c. (Is 50:4 compared with Luke 4:18) where Christ, as man, saith,
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to
preach the gospel to the poor,' &c. He hath, through grace taken
these three heavenly degrees, to wit, union with Christ, the anointing
of the Spirit, and experience of the temptations of Satan, which
do more fit a man for that mighty work of preaching the gospel,
than all university learning and degrees that can be had.

My end in writing these few lines is not to set up man, but having
had experience with many other saints of this man's soundness in
the faith, of his godly conversation, and his ability to preach
the gospel, not by human art, but by the Spirit of Christ, and that
with much success in the conversion of sinners when there are so
many carnal empty preachers, both learned and unlearned; I say having
had experience of this, and judging this book may be profitable
to many others, as well as to myself: I thought it my duty upon
this account (though I be very unfit for it) to bear witness with
my brother to the plain and simple (and yet glorious) truths of
our Lord Jesus Christ. And now reader, the Lord give thee and me a
right understanding in these things, that we may live and die not
with a traditional notional dead faith, but with a right spiritual
lively faith of Christ in our heart, wrought by the mighty power
of God; such a faith as may make Jesus Christ more real and precious
to us than any thing in the world, as may purify our hearts, and
make us new creatures, that so we may be sure to escape the wrath
to come, and after this life enjoy eternal life and glory through
the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Farewell, thine to serve thee in the Lord Jesus, JOHN BURTON.



SOME GOSPEL TRUTHS OPENED, &c.

Forasmuch as many have taken in Hand to set forth their several
Judgments concerning the Son of the Virgin Mary, the Lord JESUS
CHRIST; and some of those many having most grossly erred from the
simplicity of the Gospel, it seemed good to me, having had some
Knowledge of these things, to write a few words, to the end, if
the Lord will, Souls might not be so horribly deluded by those
several corrupt Principles that are gone into the World concerning
him.

Now, that there is such a thing as a Christ, I shall not spend
much time in proving of; only I shall shew you, that he was first
promised to the fathers, and afterwards expected by their children:
But before I do that, I shall speak a few words concerning God's
FORE-ORDAINING AND PURPOSING, THAT A CHRIST, A SAVIOUR, SHOULD
BE, AND THAT BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN. Now God in his own wisdom and
counsel, knowing what would come to pass, as if it were already
done (Rom 4:17). He knowing that man would break his commandments,
and so throw himself under eternal destruction, did in his own
purpose fore-ordain such a thing as the rise of him that should
fall, and that by a Saviour, 'According as he hath chosen us in
him, [meaning the Saviour] before the foundation of the world'
(Eph 1:4). That is, God seeing that we would transgress, and break
his commandment, did before choose some of those that would fall,
and give them to him that should afterward purchase them actually,
though in the account of God, his blood was shed before the world
was (Rev 13:8). I say, in the account of God, his Son was slain!
that is, according to God's purpose and conclusion, which he
purposed in himself before the word was; as it is written (2 Tim
1:9), 'Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling,
according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in
Christ Jesus before the world began.' As also, in 1 Peter 1:20,
Where the Apostle speaking of Christ, and the redemption purchased
by him for sinners, saith of him, 'Who verily was fore-ordained
before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last
days for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up
from the dead.' God having thus purposed in himself, that he would
save some of them that by transgression had destroyed themselves,
did with the everlasting Son of his love, make an agreement, or
bargain, that upon such and such terms, he would give him a company
of such poor souls as had by transgression fallen from their own
innocency and uprightness, into those wicked inventions that they
themselves had sought out (Eccl 7:29). The agreement also how this
should be, was made before the foundation of the world was laid
(Titus 1:2). The Apostle, speaking of the promise, or covenant
made between God and the Saviour (for that is his meaning,) saith
on this wise; 'In hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie,
promised before the world began.' Now this promise, or covenant
was made with none but with the Son of God, the Saviour. And it
must needs be so; for there was none with God before the world
began, but he by whom he made the world, as in Proverbs 8 from
verse 22 to verse 31 which was and is, the Son of his love.

This covenant, or bargain, had these conditions in it.

First, That the Saviour should take upon him flesh and blood,
the same nature that the sons of men were partakers of (sin only
excepted) (Heb 2:14, 4:15). And this was the will or agreement
that God had made with him: And therefore when he speaks of doing
the will of God (Heb 10:5) he saith, 'a body hast thou prepared
me,' (as according to thy promise (Gen 3:15) which I was to take
of a woman,) and in it I am come to do thy will, O God, as it is
written of me in the volume of thy book (v 7).

Second, The Saviour was to bring everlasting righteousness to
justify sinners withal (Dan 9:24,25). The Messias, or Saviour, shall
bring in everlasting righteousness, and put an end to iniquity,
as it is there written, 'To make an end of sins, and to
make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting
righteousness.' This, I say, was to be brought into the world by
the Saviour, according to the covenant, or agreement, that was
between God and Christ before the world began, which God, that
cannot lie, promised at that time (Titus 1:2).

Third, He was to accomplish this everlasting righteousness by
spilling his most precious blood, according to the terms of the
covenant, or bargain; and therefore when God would shew his people
what the agreement was that he and the Saviour had made, even
before the covenant was accomplished and sealed actually. See for
this Zechariah 9 (where he is speaking of him that should be the
Saviour,) verse 11, 'As for thee also [meaning the Saviour] by
the blood of thy covenant,' or as some render it, whose covenant
is by blood (which is all to one purpose) 'I [meaning God] have
sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.'
The meaning is this: As for thee also, seeing the covenant, or
bargain that was made between me and thee before the world was,
is accomplished in my account, as if it were actually and really
done, with all the conditions that were agreed upon by me and
thee; I have therefore, according to that agreement that was on
my part, sent forth the prisoners, and those that were under the
curse of my law, out of the pit wherein there is no water; seeing
thou also hast completely fulfilled in my account whatsoever was
on thy part to be done, according to our agreement. And thus is
that place to be understood in John 17:9, 'I pray for them: I pray
not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me' (which
I covenanted with thee for) 'thine they were and thou gavest them
me,' (but on such and such conditions as are before-mentioned (Zech
9)). And again, 'According as he hath chosen us in him, [that is,
in Christ,] before the foundation of the world, that we should be
holy and without blame before him in love' (Eph 1:4). Now, seeing
this was thus concluded upon by those that did wish well to the
souls and bodies of poor sinners, after the world was made by them,
and after they had said, 'let us make man in our image, after our
likeness' (Gen 1:26). And after man, whom God had made upright,
had by transgression fallen from that state into which God at first
placed him, and thrown himself into a miserable condition by his
transgression, then God brings out of his love that which he and
his Son had concluded upon, and begins now to make forth that to
the world, which he had purposed in himself before the world began
(Eph 1:4,9; 2 Tim 1:9).

1. Now the first discovery that was made to a lost creature of
the love of God, was made to fallen Adam (Gen 3:15). Where it is
said, 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between
thy seed and her seed'; which is the Saviour (Gal 4:4), 'It shall
bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.' This was the
first discovery of the love of God to lost man: This was the gospel
which was preached to Adam in his generation; in these words was
held forth to them in that generation, that which should be farther
accomplished in after generations.

2. Another discovery of the love of God in the gospel, was held
forth to Noah, in that he would have him to prepare an ark to
save himself withal; which ark did type out the Lord that was to
come, and be the Saviour of those whom he before had covenanted
for with God the Father. 'And God said unto Noah, The end of all
flesh is come before me;--make thee an ark of gopher wood' (Gen
6:13,14, 7:1). 'The Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy
house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in
this generation.'

3. God breaks out with a farther discovery of himself in love
to that generation in which Abraham lived, Where he saith, 'And
in thee, [that is, from thee shall Christ come through, in whom]
shall all families of the earth be blessed' (Gen 12:3). This was
also a farther manifestation of the good will of God to poor lost
sinners; and through this discovery of the gospel, did Abraham
see that which made him rejoice (John 8:56).

4. When the time was come that Moses was to be a prophet to the
people of his generation, then God did more gloriously yet break
forth with one type after another, as the blood of bulls, and
lambs, and goats: Also sacrifices of divers manners, and of several
things, which held forth that Saviour more clearly which God had
in his own purpose and decree determined to be sent; for these
things (the types) were a shadow of that which was to come, which
was the substance (Heb 9:9,10, 10:1,5-7). Now when these things
were thus done, when God had thus signified to the world, what
he intended to do in after times, presently all that had faith
to believe that God would be as good as his word, began to look
for, and to expect that the Lord should accomplish and bring to
pass what he had promised, what his hand and counsel had before
determined to be done.

(1.) Now Abraham begins to look for what God had promised and
signified; namely, that he would send a Saviour into the world in
his appointed time, which thing being promised, Abraham embraces,
being persuaded of the certainty of it; as in Hebrews 11:13. And
this did fill his heart with joy and gladness, as I said before;
for 'he saw it, and was glad' (John 8:56).

(2.) Jacob also, while he was blessing his sons, concerning things
to come, breaks forth with these words, 'I have waited for thy
salvation' (Gen 49:18). He was also put in expectation of salvation
to come by this Saviour.

(3.) David was in earnest expectation of this, which was held
forth by types and shadows in the law; for as yet the Saviour was
not come, which made him cry out with a longing after it, 'O that
the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion' (Psa 53:6). And
again, 'O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Sion!'
(Psa 14:7). The thing that David waited for, was not in his time
come, though before his time it was promised; which makes him cry
out, O that it were come, that it were come out of Sion! Where,
by the way, take notice, that the true salvation and Saviour of
Israel was to come out of Sion, that is, out of the church of God,
touching the flesh, as it is written; A prophet shall the Lord
your God raise up unto you of your brethren like unto me (Deut
18:15,18). And again, 'I have laid help upon one that is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen out of the people' (Psa 89:19; Rom 9:5).
'Whoso are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ
came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.' Christ, as concerning
the flesh, did come of the fathers.

(4.) Isaiah did prophesy of this, that God would thus save his
people; yea, he breaks forth with these words, 'But Israel shall
be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation' (Isa 45:17). He
also tells them how it shall be accomplished in that 53d chapter.
Yea, he had such a glorious taste of the reality of it, that he
speaks as though it had been actually done.

(5.) In the days of Jeremiah, this that God had promised to the
fathers, was not yet accomplished; in chapter 23:5 he saith,
'Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will [mark, it was
not yet done] but I will [saith God] raise unto David a righteous
branch, and a king shall reign and prosper.--In his days Judah
shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his
name wherewith he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.'

(6.) He was also to come in Zechariah's time (Zech 3:8). Where he
saith 'for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.'

(7.) He was not come in the time of Malachi neither, though he
was indeed at that time near his coming. For he saith himself,
'Behold, I will send my messenger, [meaning John the baptist,]
and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye
seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of
the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold he shall come, saith the
Lord of hosts' (Mal 3:1; Isa 40:3; Luke 1:76).

(8.) Old Simeon did also wait for the consolation of Israel a
long time (Luke 2:25). Where it is said, 'And, behold, there was
a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was
just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel.' That is,
waiting for him that was to be the Saviour, as is clear, if you
read with understanding a little farther: 'And it was revealed
unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before
he had seen the Lord's Christ' (v 26).

And thus have I in brief shewed you, 1. That there is such a thing
as Christ. 2. That this Christ was promised and signified out
by many things before he did come. 3. How he was waited for, and
expected before the time that God had appointed in the which he
should come.

The SECOND THING that I will (through the strength of Christ)
prove, is this, THAT HE THAT WAS OF THE VIRGIN, IS HE THAT IS THE
SAVIOUR.

FIRST, And first, I shall lay down this for a truth; That it is not
any Spirit only by, and of itself, without it do take the nature
of man, that can be a Saviour of man from eternal vengeance.

Or thus: That that [which] will be a Saviour of man, must in the
nature of man satisfy and appease the justice and wrath of God.
And the arguments that I do bring to prove it by, are these.

First, Because it was man that had offended; and justice required
that man must give the satisfaction: And therefore, when he that
should be the Saviour, was come, he 'took upon him the form of a
servant, and was made in the likeness of men' (Phil 2:7; Heb 2:14).
Because 'the children are partakers of flesh and blood; he also
himself likewise took part of the same'; To what end? 'that through
death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is,
the devil.' And is that all? No; but also that he might 'deliver
them who through fear of death, were all their lifetime subject
to bondage' (v 15).

Second, The second argument is this; because, if a spirit only
could have made satisfaction for the sin of mankind, and have
subdued Satan for man, without the nature of man, either there had
been weakness in Body when he made that promise to fallen Adam,
That the seed of the woman should break the serpent's head; (for
there hath been no need of and so no room for that promise) or
else God having made it, would have appeared unfaithful, in not
fulfilling his promise, by redeeming the world without it.

Third, If a spirit only could have made satisfaction, and so have
saved man; then Christ needed not to have come into the world, and
to have been born of a woman (Gal 4:4). But in that he must come
into the world, and must be born of a woman, it is clear, that
without this, he could not have been a Saviour: For he was made
of a woman, made under the law, to this end, that he might redeem
them that were under the law; implying, No subjection to this, (viz.
the taking of the nature of man) no redemption from the curse of
the law. But Christ hath delivered from the curse of the law (all
that believe in his name) being in their nature made a curse for
them.

And this is the reason, why the fallen angels are not recovered
from their damnable estate, because, he did not take hold of their
nature, 'For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but
he took on him the seed of Abraham' (Heb 2:16).

SECOND, Now then, seeing this is the very truth of God, I shall
next prove, that Jesus that was born of the virgin, to be the
Saviour. And,

First, I shall prove it by comparing some places of the Old and New
testament together, and by some arguments drawn from the scriptures.

1. And first, see Genesis 3:15, where he is called the seed of
the woman, saying, 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman,
and between thy seed and her seed'; and so was Jesus (Gal 4:4)
where it is said, 'God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,' or
born of a woman.

2. This woman must be a virgin (Isa 7:14) where it is said, 'A
virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name
Imanuel.' And Jesus is he that was the fulfilling of this scripture
(Matt 1:22,23), 'Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled
which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a
virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they
shall call his name Imanuel.'

3. The Saviour must be of the tribe of Judah. And this Jacob
prophesied of on his death-bed, saying, 'Judah, thou art he whom
thy brethren shall praise,' or honour, 'thy hand shall be in the
neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before
thee' (Gen 49:8).

And again (Micah 5:2), 'But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou
be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he
come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel.' Jesus also came
of the tribe of Judah, and that will clearly appear, if you read
(Matt 1). Matthew, he begins first with Abraham (v 2) and thence
to Judah (v 3) from Judah to David (v 6) from David to Zorobabel
(v 13) then to Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary,
of whom was born Jesus (v 16).

Now Mary was one of the same house also, and for this consider,
Jesus came from the loins of David (Matt1); but that he could not
do, if Mary had not been of the seed of David: For Christ came from
her, not from him, for Joseph 'knew her not till she had brought
forth her first-born' (Matt 1:25). Again, the angel told her, that
he was the son of David, saying, 'And the Lord God shall give unto
him the throne of his father David' (Luke 1:32).

And again, The Jews knew this very well, or else they would have
been sure to have laid it open before all the world; for they
sought by all means to disown him. And though they did through the
devilishness of their unbelief disown him, yet could they find no
such thing as to question the right of his birth from Mary. If it
had been to be done, they would no doubt have done it; they did
not want malice to whet them on; neither did they want means so far
as might help forward their malice; without manifest and apparent
injury; for they had exact registers, or records of their genealogies,
so that, if they had had any colour for it, they would sure have
denied him to have been the son of David. There was reasoning
concerning him when he was with them (John 7:27,43) and I do
believe, part of it was about the generation of which he came.
And this was so commonly known, that the blind man that sat by
the way-side could cry out, 'Jesus thou Son of David, have mercy
on me.--Thou Son of David, have mercy on me' (Luke 18:38,39). It
was so common, that he came from the loins of his father David
according to the flesh, that it was not so much as once questioned.
'And when' Herod 'demanded of the chief priests and scribes of
the people where Christ should be born. They said unto him, in
Bethlehem of Judea: For thus it is written by the prophet, And
thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the
princes of Juda, for out of thee shall come a governor, that shall
rule my people Israel' (Matt 1:4-6). (For out of thee) mark that;
if Mary had not been of Judah, Christ had not come out of Judah,
but Christ came out of Judah; therefore Mary is also a daughter
of Judah. And this is evident, as saith the scripture, 'for--our
Lord sprang out of Judah' (Heb 7:14).

Again, when Christ the Saviour was to come into the world, at
that time the sceptre was to depart from Judah, according to the
prophecy of Jacob. 'The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor
a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come' (Gen 49:10).

Now the sceptre was then departed from those that were Jews by
nature, and also the law-giver, and Herod who was a stranger, and
not of Judea, was king over them, as Caesar's deputy; and Caesar
Augustus imposed laws on them.

The stubborn Jews also confessed the sceptre to be departed, when
before Pontius Pilate a Roman governor of Judea, they cried out
against Christ: 'We have no king but Cesar' (John 19:15).

Nay farther, the Jews from that day to this, have been without a
king of their own nation to govern them: they never had the sceptre
swayed since by any of themselves, but have been a scattered
despised people, and have been as it were liable to all dangers,
and for a long time driven out from their country, and scattered
over all the nations of the earth, as was prophesied concerning
them (Jer 14:10; Zech 6:14,15). And yet these poor souls are so
horribly deluded by the devil, that though they see these things
come to pass, yet they will not believe. And one reason among
many, of their being thus deluded, is this, they say that the word
sceptre in Genesis 49 is not meant of a kingly government; but
the meaning is, (say they) a rod, or persecutions shall not depart
from Judah till Shiloh come. Now they do most grossly mistake
that place; for though I am not skilled in the Hebrew tongue,
yet through grace, I am enlightened into the scriptures; whereby
I find that the meaning is not persecutions, nor the rod of
afflictions, but a governor or sceptre of the kingdom shall not
depart from Judah till Shiloh come. And that this is the meaning
of the place, weigh but the very next words of the same verse,
and you will find it to be the sceptre of a king that is meant;
for he addeth, 'nor a law-giver from between his feet.' Mark it,
The sceptre, nor a law-giver; the legislative power depending on
the sceptre of the kingdom, shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh
come. According to that scripture, written in Isaiah 7:16, 'For
before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the
good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her
kings.' Which scripture hath been fulfilled from that same time.

But a word to the Jews' exposition of the sceptre to be a rod,
or persecutions; saying, that persecutions shall not depart from
Judah till Shiloh come. This cannot be the meaning of the place;
for the Jews have had rest oftentimes, and that before Shiloh did
come; at one time they 'had rest four-score years' (Judg 3:30).
Again, 'And the land had rest from war' (Josh 14:15). And again,
'And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he
sware unto their fathers, and there stood not a man of all their
enemies before them' (Josh 21:44). 'And the land had rest forty
years' (Judg 3:11). There was rest many a time from persecution
and from the rod, though it were but for a season; but the sceptre,
or kingdom, did not depart from Judah, and a law-giver from between
his feet till Shiloh came.

Second, Again, To prove that Jesus is the Christ, it is clear from
the hand of God against the Jews, for putting him to death. What
was the reason why they did put him to death, but this, He did
say that he was the Christ the Son of God? (Luke 22:70) 'Then said
they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye
say that I am.' That is, I am he as you say, I am the Son of God;
yea, the only begotten Son of the Father, and I was with him before
the world was (John 9:37, 17:5).

Now the Jews did put him to death for his thus owning his own;
that is, for not denying of his Sonship, but making himself equal
with God, therefore did they put him to death (John 19:7).

Now God did, and doth most miserably plague them to this very
day, for their crucifying of him: But I say, had he not been the
Christ of God, God's Son, he would not have laid sin to their
charge, for crucifying him; but rather have praised them for their
zeal, and for taking him out of the way, who did rob God of his
honour, in that he made himself equal with God, and was not. He
would have praised them for doing the thing that was right, as
he did Phineas the son of Eleazar, for executing judgment in his
time, on the adulterer and adulteress (Num 25:8).

But in that he said he was the Son of God, and accounted it no
robbery so to call himself (Phil 2:6). And seeing that they did
put him to death, because he said he was the Son of God; and in
that God doth so severely charge them with, and punish them for
their sin in putting him to death, for saying that he was the Son
of God, it is evident that he was and is the Son of God, and that
Saviour that should come into the world. For his blood hath been
upon them to this very day for their hurt, according to their
desire (Matt 27:25).

Again, Jesus himself doth in this day hold forth that he is the
Christ, where he saith, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of
God is at hand' (Mark 1:15). What time is this that Jesus speaks
of? Surely, 'tis that of Daniel's seventy weeks, spoken of in
chapter 9:24 where he saith, 'Seventy weeks are determined upon
thy people--to finish the transgression, and to make an end of
sins, and to make reconciliation' or satisfaction 'for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness,--and to anoint the most
Holy.' This time, that here Daniel speaks of, is it that Christ
saith hath an end; and the argument that he brings to persuade them
to believe the gospel, is this, 'The kingdom of God is at hand,'
(according as was prophesied of it by Daniel) 'repent, and believe
the gospel.' Repent, and believe that this is the gospel; and that
this is the truth of God; consider, that Daniel had a revelation
of these days from the angel of God, and also the time in which it
should be accomplished: namely, Seventy weeks was the determined
time of the Messias his coming, from the time when the angel spake
these words to Daniel: Seventy weeks, that is, about 490 years, if
you reckon every day in the said seventy weeks for a year: A day
for a year, a day for a year; for so is the Holy Spirit's way
sometimes to reckon days (Eze 4:6). And this the Jews were convinced
of, when Christ saith to them, 'Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the
face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?'
(Matt 16:3). Do you not see that those things that are spoken
of as forerunners of my coming, are accomplished? Do you not see
that the sceptre is departed from Judah? Do you not see the time
that Daniel spake of is accomplished also? There shall no sign be
given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: O ye hypocritical
generation! (v 4).

Third, Another argument to prove that Jesus is the Christ, is
this, By his power the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the
dumb speak, the dead are raised up, the devils are dispossessed.
In Isaiah 35:4 it is thus prophesied of him, 'Behold your God will
come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and
save you'; But how shall we know when he is come? Why, 'Then the
eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall
be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the
tongue of the dumb sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break
out, and streams in the desert' (vv 5,6). Now when John would
know whether he were the Christ or no, Jesus sends him this very
answer, 'Go, and shew John [saith he] again those things which
you do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame
walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are
raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them' (Matt
11:3-5).

Fourth, Another argument that doth prove this Jesus to be the
Christ, is this, namely, he to whom it was revealed, that he should
see him, though he waited long for him. So soon as ever he did but
see that sweet babe that twas born of the virgin Mary, he cried
out, 'Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according
to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou
hast prepared before the face of all people'; as it is in Luke
2:26-31. The prophetess Anna also, so soon as she had seen him,
'gave thanks to the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked
for redemption in Jerusalem' (vv 36-38).

Fifth, Another argument is, the sign of the prophet Jonah. He,
even Jonah, was three days and three nights in the whale's belly
(Jonah 1:17) and Jesus makes this very thing an argument to the
Jews, that he was the true Messias, where he saith, 'An evil and
adulterous generation seeketh after a sign'; that is, they would
have me to show them a sign, to prove that I am the Saviour, 'And
there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet
Jonah: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's
belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in
the heart of the earth' (Matt 12:39,40). And this, the Apostle
makes mention of to be accomplished, where he says, The Jews slew
Jesus, and hanged him on a tree (Acts 10:39) and laid him in
a sepulchre (Matt 27). But God raised him up the third day, and
shewed him openly (Acts 10:40).

Sixth, Another scripture argument to prove that Jesus is the Christ,
is this, that there was not one of his bones broken; which thing
was foretold and typed out by the Paschal Lamb, where he saith,
'They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone
of it' (Exo 12:46; Num 9:12), which thing was fulfilled in the Son
of the virgin, (though contrary to the customs of that nation,)
as it is written, 'Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of
the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when
they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they break
not his legs' (John 19:32,33): 'that the scripture should be
fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken' (v 36).

Seventh, Another scripture demonstration is, in that they did
fulfil the saying that was written, 'They part my garments among
them, and cast lots upon my vesture' (Psa 22:18). But this was
also fulfilled in Jesus, as it is written; 'Then the soldiers,
when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four
parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was
without seam,--They said therefore among themselves, let us not
rend it, but cast lots for it whose it shall be: that the scripture
might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among
them, and for my vesture they did cast lots' (John 19:23,24).

Eighth, Again, The scripture saith, 'they shall look upon me, whom
they have pierced' (Zech 12:10). But the soldier thrust a spear
into his side, That it might be fulfilled which was written, 'they
shall look on him whom they pierced' (John 19:34-37).

Error 1. Now then, seeing this is the truth of God, that Jesus
that was born of the virgin, is the Christ of God; how horribly
are those deceived who look on Jesus the Son of Mary, to be but
a shadow or type, of something that was afterward to be revealed;
whereas the scriptures most lively hold him forth to be the Christ
of God, and not a shadow of a spirit, or of a body afterwards
to be revealed, but himself was the very substance of all things
that did any way type out Christ to come; and when he was indeed
come, then was an end put to the law for righteousness, or
justification to every one that believeth; 'Christ is the end
of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,' as it
is written (Rom 10:4). That is, he was the end of the ceremonial
law, and of that commonly called the moral law, the substance of
which is laid down (Exo 20:1-17) though that law, as handed out
by Christ, still remains of great use to all believers, which
they are bound to keep for sanctification, as Christ saith (Matt
5:19 to the end of the chapter). But Christ Jesus hath obtained
everlasting righteousness, having fulfilled all the law of God
in the body of his flesh, wherein he also suffered on the cross
without the gates, and doth impute this righteousness to poor man,
having accomplished it for him in the body of his flesh, which
he took of the virgin (Gal 4:4). 'God sent forth his Son, made of
a woman, [that is, born of the virgin] made under the law,' that
is, to obey it, and to bear the curse of it, 'being made a curse
for us' (Gal 3:13); to redeem them that were under the law, that
is, to redeem such as were ordained to life eternal, from the curse
of the law. And this he did by his birth, being made or born of a
woman; by his obedience, yea, by his perfect obedience 'he became
the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him' (Heb
5:8,9); and by his doing and suffering, did completely satisfy
the law and the justice of God, and bring in that glorious and
everlasting salvation, without which we had all eternally been
undone, and that without remedy; for without shedding of his blood
there was no remission.

Error 2. Seeing Jesus Christ, the Son of the virgin Mary, was and
is the Christ of God: and that salvation came in alone by him, for
there is salvation in no other (Acts 4:12), then how are they
deceived, that think to obtain salvation by following the convictions
of the law, which they call Christ (though falsely) when alas,
let them follow those convictions that do come from the law,
and conscience set on work by it; I say, let them follow all the
convictions that may be hinted in upon their spirits from that law,
they shall never be able to obtain salvation by their obedience
to it, 'for by the law is the knowledge of sin' (Rom 3:20; Gal
3:10; John 10:15; Heb 9:12). And 'It is not of works lest any man
should boast,' as those fond hypocrites called Quakers would do.
And again, 'If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead
in vain' (Gal 2:21). 'But that no man is justified by the works of
the law, in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall
live by faith' (Gal 3:11). Which living by faith, is to apply the
Lord Jesus Christ his benefits, as birth, righteousness, death,
blood, resurrection, ascension, and intercession, with the glorious
benefits of his second coming to me, as mine, being given to me,
and for me, and thus much doth the Apostle signify, saying; 'The
life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son
of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me' (Gal 2:20).

Error 3. Again, Seeing God's Christ, which was with him before
the world was (John 17:5) took upon him flesh and blood from the
virgin Mary, (who was espoused to Joseph the carpenter) and in
that human nature yielded himself an offering for sin, (for it
was the body of his flesh by which sin was purged [Col 1:22]). I
say, seeing the Son of God, as he was in a body of flesh, did bring
in salvation for sinners, and by this means, as I said before, we
are saved, even by faith in his blood, righteousness, resurrections,
&c. How are they then deceived who own Christ no otherwise than
as he was before the world began, who was then without flesh and
blood (for he took that in time of the virgin [Gal 4:4; Heb 2:14]).
I say, they are wickedly deluded, who own him no otherwise but as
he was before the world was: For in their owning of him thus and
no otherwise, they do directly deny him to be come in the flesh,
and are of that antichristian party which John speaks of (1 John
4:3) 'Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come
in the flesh, is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist,
whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already
is it in the world.' Now because the enemy doth most notably wrest
this scripture, as they do others, to their own damnation, I
shall speak something to it; and therefore, when he saith, every
spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,
is not of God, his meaning is, Every spirit that doth not confess
that that Christ that was with the Father before the world was, did
in the appointed time of the Father come into the world, took on
him a body from the virgin, and was very man as well as very God,
and in that body of flesh did do and suffer whatsoever belonged
to the sons of men for the breach of the holy law of God, and
impute his glorious righteousness which he fulfilled in that body
of his flesh, to the souls that shall believe on what he hath
done, and is adoing in the same body.

Consider 1. And that this is the mind of the Spirit of God, consider,
first, he himself saith, handle me and see, for a spirit hath not
flesh and bones, as ye see me have, when his disciples had thought
he had been but a spirit (Luke 24:39,40).

Consider 2. Now that in this flesh he died for sins: consider,
secondly, that scripture which saith, 'Who his own self, [that
is, the Christ that was born of the Virgin] bare our sins in his
own body on the tree' (1 Peter 2:24). See Colossians 1:22 'in the
body of his flesh,' saith he, 'to present you holy and unblameable,
and unreprovable in his sight.' Now that he arose again from the
dead, with the body of flesh wherewith he was crucified, consider, that
forenamed scripture (Luke 24:39,40) spoken after his resurrection.

Now that he went away with the same body from them into heaven,
consider that it is said, 'And he led them out as far as to Bethany,
and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass,
while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up
into heaven' (Luke 24:50,51). This is the meaning of those words
therefore; Jesus Christ is come into the flesh, that is, Jesus
Christ hath come in the flesh that he took of the Virgin, hath
brought us who were enthralled to the law, the devil, and sin,
to liberty; and that by his obedience and death. 'Forasmuch then
as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [saith the
scripture] he, [Christ] also himself likewise took part of the
same'; wherefore? 'That through death he might destroy him that
had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who
through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage'
(Heb 2:14,15). For he 'was delivered for our offences, and was
raised again for our justification' (Rom 4:25). For he, even that
man, through the power of the eternal Spirit, did offer up himself
without spot to God, and thereby, or by that offering, 'obtained
eternal redemption for us' (Heb 9:12,14). And therefore I say again
and again, look to yourselves, that you receive no Christ except
God's Christ: For he is like to be deceived that will believe every
thing that calls itself a Christ. 'For many, [saith he] shall come
in my name,--and shall deceive many' (Matt 24:5).

Now having spoken thus much touching the Saviour, the Lord Jesus
Christ, I shall, according to the assistance of the Lord Jesus,
proceed, and shall speak something of his godhead, birth, death,
resurrection, ascension, and intercession; together with his most
glorious and personal appearing the second time, which will be to
raise the dead, and bring every work to judgment (Eccl 12:14).

And FIRST I shall shew you that he (Christ) is very God, co-eternal,
and also co-equal with his Father. SECOND, That by this Son of
Mary (which is equal with his Father) the world was made. THIRD,
That he in the fulness of time, was made of a woman, made under
the law, to redeem them that were (or are) under the law; that
is, was born of a woman: and in our nature (for he made himself
of no reputation, and took on him the form of a servant, and was
made in the likeness of men) and in our stead he did fulfil the
law in point of justification (Rom 10:4) and was crucified for our
transgressions (1 Cor 1:23-25). FOURTH, That very body of the Son
of Mary which was crucified, did rise again from the dead, after
he had been buried in Joseph's sepulchre; that he in that very
body ascended up into heaven; and in that very body shall come
again to these ends, 1. To judge the quick and the dead. 2. To
receive his saints to himself. 3. To pass eternal condemnation on
his enemies. These things in brief I shall touch upon, according
to the wisdom given me.

FIRST, And therefore that Christ is very God, I shall first prove
by plain texts of scripture. Second, From the testimony of God,
angels, and men, witnessed by the scriptures. Third, By several
arguments drawn from scripture, which will prove the same clearly.

First, Then to prove it by the scriptures; tho' indeed the whole
book of God's holy scripture, testify these things plainly to be
most true, yet there be some places more pregnant and pertinent
to the thing than others; and therefore I shall mention some of
them: as that in Proverbs 8:22, &c. and there you shall find him
spoken of under the name of wisdom, the same name that is given
him in 1 Corinthians 1:24. I say in that place of the Proverbs
above mentioned, you shall find these expressions from his own
mouth. 'The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before
his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning,
or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought
forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before
the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor
the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the
heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the
depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened
the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree,
that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed
the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought
up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before
him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights
were with the sons of men.' Also in John 1:1, 2 you have these words
spoken of Christ, 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning
with God.' As also in Hebrews 1:2 the Apostle being about to prove
the Son of Mary to be very God, saith; He 'hath in these last
days spoken unto us by his Son'; which Son is the Son of Mary,
as in Matthew 3, 'But [saith the Apostle (Heb 1:8)] unto the Son
he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, a sceptre of
righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.' Again, in John 17:5
you have the words of the Son of Mary for it, saying, 'And now, O
Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which
I had with thee before the world was.' Again, he himself saith,
before Abraham was, I am: And again, I and my Father are one. And
in Philippians 2:5 the Apostle saith, 'Let this mind be in you
which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God,
thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of
no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was
made in the likeness of men.' Also Revelation 2:8 Christ himself
saith, I am 'the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive.'
And thus have I quoted some few scriptures to prove that the Son
of Mary is the true God.

Second, I shall give you the testimony of God himself touching
the truth of this, viz. That Christ, the Son of the Virgin, is
the true God:

1. And first see Zechariah 12:7 and there you shall find these
words, 'Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man
that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts.' In this place the
Lord doth call that Man his fellow, which he doth not do to any
mere creature. Again, in Matthew 3:17 he calls him his beloved
Son, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'
And in the aforesaid place of the Hebrews (ch 1) the Apostle advancing
the Lord Jesus, brings in this question. 'To which of the angels
said he at any time, Thou art my Son?' (v 5). 'But unto the Son he
saith' (v 8) 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever': And thus
far of the testimony that God himself hath given of the Son of
Mary, Jesus Christ.

2. The angels do shew that he is God: (1.) In that they do obey
him. (2.) In that they worship him.

(1.) That they obey him, is clear, if we compare Revelation 21:9
with 22:6. In the first of these places we find, that there came
one of the angels of the seven vials, which had the seven last
plagues, and talked with John. He came not of himself; for in that
22nd chapter, verse 6 he saith, 'The Lord--sent his angel to shew
unto his servants, the things which must shortly be done.' Now in
the 16th verse you may see who this Lord God is: He saith there,
'I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify--these things in the
churches [compare Rev 1:1]. I am the root and [as well as] the
offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.' I say this
obedience of the angels doth testify that Jesus, which is the Son
of Mary, is the true and very God; for they do obey God only.

(2.) The angels do shew that the Son of Mary, is the true God,
in that they do not only obey him, but worship him also; yea,
they are commanded so to do (Heb 1:6) where it is written, 'When
he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he [i.e. God,]
saith, And let all the angels of God worship him,' viz. the Son of
Mary. Now the angels themselves command that we worship none but
God (Rev 22:8,9). When John fell down to worship the angel, the angel
said, 'See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant,--worship
God.' Now if the angels should command to worship God, and they
themselves should worship him that by nature is no god, they should
overthrow themselves, in commanding one thing, and doing another,
and so lose their own habitations, and be shut up in chains of
darkness, to be punished with everlasting destruction from God
himself at the great day. And thus much concerning the testimony
of angels touching Jesus the son of Mary, the Son of God, yea,
very and true God (Isa 9:6).

3. [The testimony of men witnessed by the scriptures do shew that
Christ is very God.] Now followeth David his testimony among other
of the saints, who witness Jesus the Son of Mary to be true God;
and that you may find in Psalm 110:1 where he saith, 'The LORD
said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine
enemies thy footstool.' Also Isaiah in the 9th chapter, verse 6
saith, 'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and
the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall
be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting
Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and
peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, [which is
not, nor ever was the heart of any believer] and upon his kingdom,
to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice
from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will
perform this.' Again, see Peter's testimony of this Son of Mary;
When Jesus asked his disciples, whom say ye that I am? Peter,
as the mouth of the rest, said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of
the living God' (Matt 16:16). Also when Thomas, one of Christ's
disciples, would not be persuaded by the others that they had
seen the Lord, except he did also see in his hands the print of
the nails, and put his fingers into the print of the nails, and
thrust his hand into his side, he would not believe. Saith the
Son of Mary, 'Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and
reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not
faithless but believing.' And then Thomas breaks out with a mighty
faith, and a glorious testimony for his master, and saith, 'My
Lord, and my God' (John 20:27,28). Again, See Paul's testimony of
him (Rom 9:5) where speaking of the Son of Mary, he saith, That
Christ came of the Father, 'who is over all, God blessed for ever,
Amen.' And the apostle John doth also witness as much (1 John 5:20)
where speaking of Jesus Christ, he saith on this wise, 'And we know
that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding,
that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true,
[Who is that? why, saith John] even in his Son Jesus Christ.' Who
is he? Why, 'This is the true God, and eternal life.'

I could here also bring in the testimony of the very devils
themselves as Luke 4:41, 8:28 where he is by them acknowledged to
be the Son of the living God: But it is needless so to do; for we
have plainly proved it already.

Third, Now followeth the several scripture arguments, which will
prove that Jesus the Son of Mary is very God.

1. There is none but he that is the true God, can satisfy the
justice of the true God, for the breach of his holy law; but if
you compare Isaiah 53:6 with Matthew 3:17 you shall find, that
Jesus the Son of Mary did give God a full and complete satisfaction
for the breach of his holy law; therefore Jesus the Son of Mary
must needs be the great and true God.

2. He that hath power of his own to lay down his life, and hath
power of his own to take it up again, must needs be the true God:
but this did Jesus the Son of Mary the virgin; therefore he must
needs be the true God (John 10:17; Rom 1:4).

3. There was never any able to bear the sins of all the believers
in the world, that ever were, now are, or hereafter shall be,
but the true God: But Jesus, the Son of the Virgin Mary, did bear
them all, 'in his own body on the tree' (1 Peter 2:24; Isa 53:6).
Therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must needs be the true God as well
as man.

4. There was never any mere man able, by his own power, to overcome
the devil in all his temptations, but he that is also the true
God (for Adam in his state of innocency was overcome by them, and
fell under them:) But Jesus the Son of the Virgin did overcome
them all by his own power; therefore he is very God, as well as
very Man. See Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 51:9, 63:5; Matthew 4:24; Luke
4:12.

5. There was never any that did call himself the true God (and was
not) which did please God in so doing. But Jesus the Son of Mary
did call himself the true God, or account himself equal with God
(which is all one) yet God was well pleased with him (Matt 3:17;
Phil 2:6,7; John 8:29). And therefore Jesus the Son of Mary must
needs be true God as well as man.

6. There was never any that had all power in heaven and in earth, but
the true God. Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary, who was espoused
to Joseph, hath all power in heaven and in earth in his own hand.
Therefore he is the true and great God (Matt 28:18).

7. There was never any able to keep poor souls from falling from
God, saving he that is the true God. Jesus the Son of Mary did,
and doth this (John 10:27-30, 17:12). Therefore he is the true
and great God.

8. Never could any justly call himself the first and the last,
except the true God, nor truly (as the Lord did say) I AM. But
these did Jesus the Son of Mary (Rev 1:1 compared with vv 17,18;
Rev 2:8 and John 8:58). Therefore Jesus must needs be true God as
well as man.

9. Never was there any that could absolutely forgive sins but God
(Mark 2:7; Luke 5:21). But Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary, can
forgive sins (Luke 5:20; Mark 2:5). Therefore Jesus the Son of
Mary must needs be true God, as well as man.

10. The scriptures never call any the true and living God; but he
that is the true God. The scriptures call Jesus, the Son of the
Virgin, the true God (Isa 9:6; 1 John 5:20). Therefore he is the
true and great God.

11. He that made all things, whether they be visible, or invisible,
whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers,
must needs be the true God. But Jesus the Son of the Virgin Mary
did make all these (Col 1:14-18; John 1:1-16; Heb 1:2,3). And
therefore he is the true God as well as man.

12. The blood of a mere finite creature could never obtain eternal
redemption for sinners. But the blood of Jesus, the Son of the
Virgin Mary, hath obtained eternal redemption for sinners (Rom
3:23, 5:9; Heb 9:12,14, 10:19,20). Therefore the blood of the Son
of the Virgin, must needs be the blood of God. And so the Apostle
calleth it, saying to the pastors of the churches, 'Feed the church
of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood' (Acts 20:28;
1 John 3:16).

13. Never was there any that could overcome death in his own power,
but the true God (Hosea 13:14; 2 Tim 1:10; Heb 1:2). Jesus the
Son of the Virgin Mary did overcome death by himself (Heb 3:14).
Therefore he is the true God as well as man.

14. He that searcheth the hearts, and knoweth the thoughts of men,
must needs be the true God (Jer 17:10). But Jesus the Son of the
Virgin doth (Luke 5:22, 9:47; John 2:24,25). Therefore he is the
true God.

15. He that by his own power commandeth the raging sea, must needs
be the true God (Job 38:10,11; Prov 8:29). But this did Jesus the
Son of Mary (Mark 4:39-41; Luke 8:24). Therefore, he is the true
God.

16. He that is the WISDOM, power, and glory of God, must needs
be the true God. But Jesus the Son of the Virgin is all these as
1 Corinthians 1:24; Hebrews 1:3. Therefore Jesus the Son of the
Virgin must needs be true God as well as man.

SECOND.--The next thing that I am to prove, is this; namely, That
by this Jesus Christ, the Son of the Virgin, the world was made:
And here I shall be brief, having touched on it already. Only
I shall lay down some of the scriptures, that hold forth this to
be a truth, and so pass to the next things that I intend to speak
of.

And therefore in the first place, see Hebrews 1:2 where the Apostle
is speaking of the Son of God, which Son was born of the Virgin
Mary, according to these scriptures mentioned before (Matt 1:18-23;
Luke 2; Matt 3:17) where God himself saith, This is my beloved
Son, &c. This Son of God, saith the Apostle, by whom God hath
spoken to us, by him also he made the worlds. And Colossians
1 the Apostle speaking of the deliverance of the saints, saith,
'who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated
us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins': And is that all?
No, but he is (also) 'the image of the invisible God, the first
born of every creature' (v 15). And in verses 16, 17, 'By him
were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or
principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for
him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.'
Also Hebrews 1:10 it is thus written of this Son of God, Christ
Jesus the Son of Mary, 'And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast
laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works
of thine hands.' And again, John 1 and the first 9 verses, the
Evangelist, or Apostle, speaking of the Son, saith, 'In the beginning
was the Word,' which Word was the Son (Rev 19:13). This Word, or
Son, was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by
him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 'In
him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light
shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.' But
in the ninth verse of this first chapter of John, it is written,
'That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh
into the world.' Now seeing the Lord hath brought me thus far;
and because the Quakers by wresting this scripture, do not only
split themselves upon it, but endeavour also to split others, I
shall therefore, before I proceed any further, speak a few words
to it; and they are these that follow.

The Apostle in these nine first verses, or most of them, is speaking
of the divinity or godhead of the Son of Mary, and shewing that
he made the world: Now in this ninth verse he speaketh of man as
he is in his coming into the world, and not as he is a regenerate
person. Now every man as he comes into the world, receives a light
from Christ, as he is God, which light is the conscience, that
some call Christ though falsely. This light, or conscience, will
shew a man that there is a God, and that this God is eternal (Rom
1:20). This light doth discover this eternal God by his works in
the world; for saith the scripture before named, 'The invisible
things of him [meaning God] from the creation of the world are
clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even
his eternal power and godhead'; This light also will reprove of
sin, or convince of, and make manifest sins against the law of
this eternal God: so that man, before he is regenerate, is able
by that light to know that sins against the law, are sins against
God, as is manifested in the unconverted Pharisees, who, (as
Christ told them) had neither the love of God, nor the word of God
abiding in them (John 5:38,42) yet knew sins against the law, to
be sins; for they were offended at a woman for committing adultery,
which act was forbidden, by the law (Matt 5:27,28); and it is said
also, they were convicted of sin by their own consciences (John
8:7-10).

Again, The Apostle writing to the Corinthians, and admonishing
them to walk orderly (1 Cor 11:14) turns them to nature itself,
saying, 'Doth not even nature itself teach you?' &c. This light
surely is that, wherewith Christ, as he is God, hath enlightened
every man that cometh into the world, which doth convince of
sins against the law of God. Therefore, as the Apostle saith (Rom
1:20). They are left without excuse. That is, they have their own
conscience, that doth shew them there is a God, and that this God
is to be served and obeyed; and the neglect of this will be sure
to damn them, though the obedience to the law will not save them,
because they are not able to make a full recompense to God for the
sins that are past; neither are they able for the time to come,
to yield a full, continual, and complete obedience to the law
of this almighty, infinite, and eternal God. For as many as are
of the works of the law, are under the curse; for it is written,
'Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are
written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is
justified by the [works of the] law,--it is evident: for, The just
shall live by faith' (Gal 3:10,11).

But now, though Christ, as he is God, doth give a light to every
one that cometh into the world, which light is the conscience, (as
they themselves confess;) yet it doth not therefore follow that
this conscience is the Spirit of Christ, or the work of grace,
wrought in the heart of any man whatsoever; for every one hath
conscience, yet every one hath not the Spirit of Christ: For Jude
speaks of a company of men in his days, who had not the Spirit of
Christ (Jude 19). 'These be they who separate themselves, [saith
he] sensual, having not the spirit.' Yea, Heathens, Turks, Jews,
Pagans, Atheists, have that also that doth convince of sin, and
yet are so far from having the Spirit of Christ in them, that it
is their great delight to serve their lusts, this world, their sins;
whereas the Apostle saith plainly, 'If Christ be in you, the body
is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life for righteousness
sake' (Rom 8:10)[1] So that those who are alive to their sins, have
not the Spirit of Christ. Nay, let me tell you, the very devils
themselves, who were thrown from their first state by sin (Jude 6)
have such a taste of their horrible sins (2 Peter 2:4) that when
they did but suppose that Jesus was come to put an end to their
tyrannical dealing with the world, and to bring them to judgment
for their sins, (to which they know they shall be brought,) it
made them cry out, 'Art thou come hither to torment us before the
time?' (Matt 8:29). James doth also signify this much unto us,
where he saith, 'The devils also believe and tremble' (James 2:19).
Which belief of theirs is not a believing in Christ to save them;
for they know he did not take hold on their nature (Heb 2:16).
But they do believe that Christ will come to their everlasting
torment; and the belief of this doth make these proud spirits to
tremble.

Again, Man at his coming into the world, hath his conscience given
him, which doth convince of sin (John 2:9, 8:9), yet man, as he
cometh into the world, hath not the Spirit of Christ in him; for
that must be received afterward, by the preaching of the word,
which is preached by the ministers and servants of Jesus Christ.
This is God's usual way to communicate of his Spirit into the
hearts of his elect; and this is clear in so many words, where
Peter preaching to a certain number, the scripture saith, 'While
Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost, [or Holy Spirit,]
fell on all them which heard the word' (Acts 10:44). And again (Gal
3:2,5 compared together), 'Received ye the Spirit by the works of
the law, [saith the Apostle] or by the hearing of faith?' or the
Gospel, which is the word of faith preached by us? Which Spirit,
as Christ saith, the world cannot receive, because it seeth him
not, neither knoweth him, though his children shall have fellowship
with him to the great comfort of their own souls (John 14:16,17).

But now, this merciless butcherer of men, the devil, that he
might be sure to make the soul fall short of glory, if possible,
endeavours to persuade the soul that its state is good; that
it hath the Spirit of Christ in it; and for a proof of the same,
saith he, turn thy mind inward, and listen within, and see if
there be not that within thee that doth convince of sin: Now the
poor soul; finding this to be so, all on haste (if it be willing
to profess) through ignorance of the Gospel, claps in with these
motions of its own conscience, which doth command to abstain from
this evil, and to practise that good; which, if neglected, will
accuse and torment for the same neglect of others, both now and
hereafter (Rom 2:15).

Now the soul seeing that there is something within that convinceth
of sin, doth all on a sudden close with that, supposing it is the
Spirit of Christ, and so through this mistake, is carried away
with the teachings and convictions of its own conscience, (being
misinformed by the devil) unto the works of the law; under which,
though it work all its days, and labour with its might and main,
yet it never will be able to appease the wrath of God, nor get
from under the curse of the law, nor get from under the guilt of
one sinful thought the right way, which is to be done by believing
what another man hath done by himself, without us, on the cross,
without the gates of Jerusalem (Heb 1:2,3; Rom 5:15). See also
for this 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 13:12. The one saith, He bare our
sins in his own body on the tree; the other saith, It was done
without the gate.

And thus the poor soul is most horribly carried away headlong, and
thrown down violently under the curse of the law, under which it
is held all its days, if God of his mere mercy prevent not; and
at the end of its life doth fall into the very belly of hell.

Again, That the devil might be sure to carry on his design, he now
begins to counterfeit the work of grace: here he is very subtle,
and doth transform himself into an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).
Now he makes the soul believe that he is its friend, and that he
is a gospel minister; and if the soul will be led by what shall be
made known unto it by the light (or conscience) within, it shall
not need to fear but it shall do well.

Now he counterfeits the new birth, persuading them, that it is
wrought by following the light that they brought into the world
with them. Now he begins also to make them run through difficulties:
and now, like Baal's priests, they must lance themselves with knives,
&c. Now, 1656, quakers are changed to the laws of the world. Now
they must wear no hatbands; now they must live with bread and
water; now they must give heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines
of devils, which bids them abstain from marriage, and commands
them to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received
with thanksgiving, of them which love and know the truth, as in 1
Timothy 4:1-3. Now they must not speak, except their spirit moves
them, (I do not say the Spirit of Christ) though when it moves,
they will speak such sad blasphemies, and vent such horrible
doctrines, that it makes me wonder to see the patience of God,
in that he doth not command, either the ground to open her mouth,
and swallow them up, or else suffer the devil to fetch them away
alive, to the astonishment of the whole world.

Object. But you will say, doth not the scripture say, that it is
the Spirit of Christ that doth make manifest or convince of sin?
(John 16:8).

Ans. Yes, it doth so. But for the better understanding of this
place, I shall lay down this; namely, That there are two things
spoken of in the scriptures, which do manifest sin, or convince of
sin. First, The law, as saith the Apostle (Rom 3:20). 'Therefore
by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his
sight: [viz., God's sight:] for by the law is the knowledge of sin.'
Secondly, The Spirit of Christ doth make manifest, or reprove of
sin, as it is written (John 16:8,9). 'And when he [the Spirit] is
come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and
of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me'; saith the
Son of Mary, which is Christ.

Now the law doth sometimes by its own power manifest sin without
the Spirit of Christ; as in the case of Judas, who was convinced
of the sin of murder, which made him cry out, 'I have sinned';
yet at that time he was so far from having the Spirit of Christ
in him, that he was most violently possessed of the devil (Luke
22:3,4).

Again, Sometimes the Spirit of Christ takes the law, and doth
effectually convince of sin, of righteousness, and judgment to
come.

Query. But you will say, How should I know whether I am convinced
by the law alone, or that the law is set home effectually by the
Spirit of the Lord Jesus upon my conscience?

Ans. 1. Unto this I answer. First, When the law doth convince by
its own power, without the help of the Spirit of Christ, it doth
only convince of sins against the law, as of swearing, lying,
stealing, murdering, adultery, covetousness, and the like. I say,
it doth only make manifest sins against the law, pronouncing a
horrible curse, against thee, if thou fulfil it not, and so leaves
thee; but it gives thee no strength to fulfil it completely, and
continually, (which thou must do, if thou wilt be saved thereby).
Now thy own strength being insufficient for these things, having
lost it in Adam, thou art a breaker of the law. Here the law finds
thee in thy sins, and condemns thee for thy sins: But gives thee
no power to come wholly out of them; neither doth it shew thee
thy right Saviour, to save thee from them (which is the Son of the
Virgin Mary, the man Christ Jesus) but commands thee upon pain of
eternal damnation, to continue in all things that are written in
the book of the law to do them (Gal 3:10). And therefore if thou
hast been convinced of no other sins, but what are against the law,
for all thy convictions and horror of conscience, thou mayest be
but a natural man, at the best, and so under the curse.

(Obj.) But, perhaps thou wilt say, I am not only convinced of my
sins against the law, but I have also some power against my sins,
so that I do in some considerable measure abstain from those things
that are forbidden in the law.

(Ans.) This thou mayest have, and do, as thou thinkest, perfectly,
as those blind Pharisees called quakers, do think that they also
do, and yet be but a natural man: And therefore I pray consider
that place, in Romans 2:14, 15, the Apostle there speaks on this
wise, concerning the Gentiles' obedience to the law, 'For when
the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things
contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto
themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts.'
Which work of the law, Christ as he is God, hath enlightened
every one withal, that cometh into the world (John 1:9), which, as
the quakers say, doth convince of sin, yet of no other than sins
against the law: and therefore must needs be all one light or
law; for 'the law is light' (Prov 6:23) and gives 'the knowledge
of sin' (Rom 3:20). And therefore, as I said before, so say I now
again, if thy convictions are no other than for the sins against
the law, though thy obedience be the strictest that ever was
wrought by any man, (except the Lord Jesus the Son of Mary) thou
art at the best but under the law, and so consequently under the
curse, and under the wrath of God, whether thou believest it or
not (Gal 3:10; John 3:36).

Ans. 2. But now the second thing, how thou shouldest know, whether
the Spirit of Christ doth effectually set home the law upon thy
conscience, or not; and therefore to speak directly to it, if the
Spirit of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, doth set home the law
effectually; then the same Spirit of Christ shews thee more sin
than the sins against the law. For,

(1.) It shews thee, that 'all our righteousnesses are as filthy
rags' (Isa 64:6). Thou seest all thy praying, meditation, hearing,
reading, alms-deeds, fasting, reformation, and whatsoever else
thou hast done, doest, or canst do, being an unbeliever, deserves
at the hands of God his curse and condemnation, and that for ever:
And therefore thou art so far from trusting to it, that in some
measure thou even loathest it, and art ashamed of it, as being a
thing abominable, both in God's sight and thine own (Phil 3:8).
Thou countest thy own performances, when at best, and thine
own righteousness, A bed too short to stretch thyself upon, and
a covering too narrow to wrap thyself in (Isa 28:20). And these
things thou seest not[2] overly, or slightly, and as at a great
distance, but really and seriously, and the sense of them sticks
close unto thee.

(2.) It shews thee that thou hast no faith in the man Christ Jesus
by nature, and that though thou hadst no other sins, yet thou art
in a perishing state because of unbelief, according to that 16th
of John, verse 9, 'Of sin, because they believe not on me.' If
therefore thou hast been convinced aright by the Spirit, thou hast
seen that thou hadst no faith in Christ the Son of Mary, the Son
of God, before conversion. It shews thee also, that thou canst
not believe in thine own strength, though thou wouldest never so
willingly; yea, though thou wouldest give all the world (if thou
hadst it) to believe, thou couldest not.

(3.) In the next place it will shew thee, that if thou doest not
believe in the man Christ Jesus, and that with 'the faith of the
operation of God' (Col 2:12), thou wilt surely perish, and that
without remedy; Also it shews thee, that if thou hast not that
righteousness, which the man Christ Jesus accomplished in his
own person for sinners; I say, if thou be not clothed with that
instead of thine own, thou art gone for ever; and therefore saith
Christ, (speaking of the Spirit) 'When he is come he will reprove
the world of sin, and of righteousness' too (John 16:8). That is,
the Spirit shall convince men and women of the sufficiency of that
righteousness that Christ, in his human nature, hath fulfilled: So
that they need not run to the law for righteousness: 'For Christ
is the end of the law for righteousness, to every one that believeth'
(Rom 10:4). Again, if the Spirit of Jesus setteth home the law
upon thy conscience, thou wilt freely confess, that although the
law curseth, and condemneth thee for thy sins, and gives thee no
power either to fulfil it, or to come out of thy sins: Yet God is
just in giving that law, and 'the law is holy, and the commandment
holy, and just, and good' (Rom 7:12).

(4.) Lastly, It also convinceth of judgment to come: He (viz. the
Spirit) shall reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, yea, and
of judgment too (Acts 24:25). Then doth the soul see, that that
very man that was born of the Virgin Mary, crucified upon the
cross without the gates of Jerusalem, shall so come again; even
that same Jesus, in like manner as he was seen to go up from his
disciples (Acts 1:11). Yea, they that are thus convinced by the
Spirit of Christ, know that God 'hath appointed a day, in the
which he will judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom
he hath ordained' (Acts 17:31): which is the man Christ Jesus:
For 'it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick
and dead' (Acts 10:42).

And now, O man, or woman, whoever thou art, that art savingly
convinced by the Spirit of Christ, thou hast such an endless desire
after the Lord Jesus Christ, that thou canst not be satisfied or
content with anything below the blood of the Son of God to purge
thy conscience withal; even that blood that was shed without the
gate (Heb 13:12, 9:14). Also thou canst not be at quiet, till thou
dost see by true faith, that the righteousness of the Son of Mary
is imputed unto thee, and put upon thee (Rom 3:21-23). Then also
thou canst not be at quiet, till thou hast power over thy lusts,
and corruptions, till thou hast brought them into subjection to
the Lord Jesus Christ. Then thou wilt never think that thou hast
enough faith. No, thou wilt be often crying out, Lord, give me
more precious faith: Lord, more faith in thy righteousness; more
faith in thy blood and death; more faith in thy resurrection:
And Lord, more faith in this, that thou art now at the right hand
of thy father in thy human nature, making intercession for me a
miserable sinner (John 16:5-7; 1 Tim 2:5; Heb 7:24,25). And then,
O poor soul, if thou comest but hither, thou wilt never have an
itching ear after another gospel. Nay, thou wilt say, if a presbyter,
or anabaptist, or independent, or ranter, or quaker, or papist,
or pope, or an angel from heaven, preach any other doctrine, let
him be accursed, again and again (Gal 1:8). And thus have I briefly
shewed you.

First, How Christ, as he is God, doth enlighten every man that
comes into the world.

Secondly, What this light will do, viz. shew them that there is
a God, by the things that are made; and that this God must be
worshiped (Rom 1:20).

Thirdly, I have shewed you the difference between that light and
the Spirit of Christ the Saviour.

Fourthly, I have also shewed you, how you should know the one from
the other, by their several effects.

The first light convinces of sins, but of none other than sins
against the law; neither doth it shew the soul a Saviour, or deliver
(for that is the work of the Spirit) from the curse wherewith it
doth curse it. But I shewed you, that when the Spirit of Christ
comes and works effectually, it doth not only shew men their sins
against the law, but also shews them their lost condition, if they
believe not in the righteousness, blood, death, resurrection, and
intercession of Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, the Son of God
(John 6:44, 16:24; Matt 3:17; Heb 1:9). And thus much I thought
necessary to be spoken at this time, touching the nature of
conviction.

THIRD. Now in the third Place. Though I have spoken something to
this thing already, namely, concerning our Lord the Saviour, yet
again, in few words, through grace, I shall shew, that he was made,
that is, born of a woman, and made under the law, to redeem them
that are under the law. My meaning is, That God is our Saviour.

First, And for this, see Isaiah 45:15 where you have these words,
'Verily, thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the
Saviour': And verse 21, 22 you have these words, 'Who hath declared
this from ancient time?--Have not I the LORD? And there is no God
else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside
me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth':
Why, who art thou? 'For I am God, and there is none else.' Also
in Isaiah 54:5 'For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts
is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of
the whole earth shall he be called.' Read also verses 6-8 of that
chapter. I could abundantly multiply scriptures to prove this to
be truth, but I shall only mind you of two or three, and so pass
on; the first is in Jude, verse 25, 'To the only wise God our
Saviour be glory.' And Acts 20:23; John 3:16; 1 John 5:20.

Object. But you will say, How is God a Saviour of sinners, seeing
his eyes are so pure that he cannot behold iniquity (Hab 1:13).

Answ. For answer hereunto. 'When the fulness of the time was come'
wherein the salvation of sinners should be actually wrought out,
'God sent forth his Son, [which Son is equal with the Father (John
1:1, 17:5, 10:30)] made of a woman, made under the law,' (that
is, he was subject to the power and curse of the law) to this end,
'to redeem them that [are, or] were under the law' (Gal 4:4,5),
that is, to deliver us 'from the curse of the law, being made a
curse for us' (Gal 3:13). From whence take notice, that when the
salvation of sinners was to be actually wrought out, then God sent
forth the everlasting Son of his love into the world, clothed with
the human nature, according to that in John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14
and 1 Timothy 3:16 which saith, 'God was manifest in the flesh,'
that is, took flesh upon him.

Second, This Son of God, which is equal with the Father, did in
that flesh, which he took upon him, completely fulfil the whole
law: So that the Apostle saith, 'Christ is the end of the law
for righteousness to every one that believeth' (Rom 10:4). This
righteousness which this Christ did accomplish, is called, 'The
righteousness of God' (Rom 3:22). This righteousness of God, is
by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that
believe: My meaning is, it is imputed to so many as shall by faith
lay hold on it. This is also part of the meaning of that speech
of the Apostle: 'As many of you as have been baptized into Christ,
have put on Christ' (Gal 3:27). That is, by faith have put on the
righteousness of Christ, with the rest of that which Christ hath
bestowed upon you, having accomplished it for you. This is also
the meaning of the Apostle (Col 2:9,10) where he saith, 'for in
him [that is the Son of Mary, (1:13,14)] dwelleth all the fulness
of the godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him.' That is, in
his obedience and righteousness; which also the Apostle himself
doth so hard press after (Phil 3:8,9), saying, 'doubtless, and I
count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of
Christ Jesus my Lord'; which Lord was crucified by the Jews, as
it is in 1 Corinthians 2:8 'for whom, [that is for Christ,] I have
suffered the loss of all things [as well the righteousness of the
law, in which I was blameless (Phil 3:6) as all other things]
and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ: And be found
in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law,
but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness
which is of God by faith': which is 'unto all, and upon all them
that believe' (Rom 3:22). That place also in the ninth of Daniel
(vv 24,25), holdeth forth as much where prophesying of the Messias,
he saith, that it is he that came 'to finish the transgression, and
to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness.' Now that the righteousness
of the Son of Mary is it, mind the 26th verse, where he saith
thus, 'And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut
off,' that is, Christ shall be crucified, 'but not cut off,' that
is, Christ shall be crucified, 'but not for himself,' that is, not
for any sin that he hath committed; for he committed none. Then
surely, it must be for the sins of the people (John 11:50), as
the high priest said, 'It is expedient for us that one man should
die for the people,' which man was the true Messias (Dan 9:24),
which also is the Son of Mary (Matt 1:18-23). And the Son of God
(Matt 3:17). And also the true God (1 John 5:20). And this Messias,
this Son of the Virgin, this Son of God, this true God, did not
die for himself, for he had not offended; neither did he fulfil the
law or finish transgression, and bring in everlasting righteousness
for himself, for he had not sinned (1 Peter 2:22), therefore it
must of necessity follow, that this righteousness of God, this
everlasting righteousness, is imputed to all, and upon all them
that believe (Rom 3:22; 2 Cor 5:19-21). But,

Thirdly, this Messias, this Son of Mary, this Son of God, this
true God, he was put to death for the sins that his children had
committed, according to that saying, 'Herein perceive we the love
of God, because he laid down his life for us' (1 John 3:16). Also
in Acts 20:28 the apostle speaking to the pastors of the churches,
saith, 'feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his
own blood.' See also Zechariah 12:10.

Now, I would not be mistaken. I do not think, or say, that he died
in his divine nature, but as it is written, he in his own body
on the tree did bear our sins (1 Peter 2:24); which tree was the
cross (Col 2:14). And as the apostle saith again, who 'when he
had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the
majesty on high' (Heb 1:3). And again, the apostle speaking of
this glorious God, saith on this wise, (being before speaking of
his godhead) in Colossians 1:19-22, 'For it pleased the Father
that in him should all fulness dwell; and having made peace through
the blood of his cross by him to reconcile all things to himself:
by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in
heaven. And you, who were sometime alienated and enemies in your
mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.' But how? why
in verse 22 he tells you, that it is 'in the body of his flesh
through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable
in his sight.' That is, Christ, who is the true God, after that
he had finished all actual obedience on earth, did in the power
and strength of his godhead (John 19:30, 10:18) yield up himself
to the wrath of his Father, which was due to poor sinners (and
that willingly) (Isa 63:3) [see Heb 9:14 and read that verse with
understanding] according to that saying in 1 Peter 3:18, 'For Christ
also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust': That
is, the Son of God for poor sinners: 'that he might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.'
Again (1 Peter 4:1), 'Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for
us [not for himself (Dan 9:26)] in the flesh, [in his own body
which he took of the Virgin (1 Peter 2:24)] arm yourselves likewise
with the same mind': That is, let us die to sin as he did, that
we might live to God as he did, and doth (Rom 6:10). And thus have
I briefly showed you.

I. That the Son of Mary is very God.

II. That he made the world.

III. That he is our Saviour, and how.

IV. That he died for sinners, and how, namely, not in his divine
nature, but in his human, in his own body, and in his own flesh
(Col 1:22) redeeming his church with his own blood (Acts 20:28)
and with his own life (1 John 3:16; John 10:18).

We shall now pass on to some other things (the Lord willing) touching
his burial, resurrection, ascension, intercession, second coming,
resurrection of the body, and eternal judgment.

HIS BURIAL PROVED.--I shall prove by several scriptures that he
was buried, and so pass on. Therefore see that place, Matthew
27 verse 57 and so forward. After that Jesus the Son of God had
been crucified a while, he gave up the ghost; that is, he died;
and after he had been awhile dead, Joseph of Arimathea went into
Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave consent
thereto. And Joseph took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in clean
linen, and laid it (viz. the body of Jesus) in his own tomb, and
rolled a stone upon the mouth of the sepulchre, and departed. Also
in Luke 23:51-53. The apostle Paul also teacheth so much (1 Cor
15:3,4) where he saith, 'For I delivered unto you first of all that
which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according
to the scripture; And that he was buried.' Again, in Acts 13:29
the apostle speaking there of Jesus Christ, saith, 'And when they
had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from
the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.' And so much touching the
burial of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

RESURRECTION. In the next place, I am to prove, That that very
man, whom the Jews did crucify between two thieves, called Jesus
Christ, did rise again. That very man, with that very body wherewith
he was crucified upon the cross, did rise again out of the grave
in which he was laid. And this I shall prove 1. by scripture, 2.
by the testimony of angels, 3. by Christ's own words after he was
risen, and 4. by the testimony of the apostles in the scripture.

First therefore consider, Psalm 16 verse10 where the prophet speaks
on this wise of Christ's resurrection; 'For thou wilt not leave
my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see
corruption.' Which words the Apostle Peter cites in Acts 2 from
verse 22 to 32, also Isaiah 26:19 in the person of Christ saith,
'Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall
they rise.' See also John 20:15, 16 where mention is made of his
appearing unto Mary Magdalene, and he called her Mary, and she
called him master; which signifies that he was risen, and that
she knew him after his resurrection; for he was come out of the
grave, see verses 6, 7, 8. Again, another scripture is that in Luke
24:1-3. The disciples of Jesus coming to the sepulchre, thinking
to anoint the body of Jesus, found the stone that was on the mouth
of the sepulchre rolled away; and when they went in, they found
not the body of the Lord Jesus; and at this they were troubled and
perplexed (v 4). But as two of them went up to Emmaus, and were
talking of what had befallen to Jesus, Jesus himself drew near,
and went with them (v 15). Another scripture is that in Mark 16:9
which saith on this wise, 'Now when Jesus was risen early the first
day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom
he had cast seven devils.' Where take notice how the Holy Ghost
lays it down in these words, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
To intimate to us the certainty, that it was the same Jesus that
was born of the virgin Mary, who did many miracles, and cured many
diseases, who did also cast seven devils out of Mary Magdalen,
that did rise again. Yea, saith the Holy Ghost, it was the same
Jesus that did work such a wonderful miracle on Mary, he appeared
to her first, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And let these
scriptures suffice to prove the resurrection of the Son of God.

Second, you shall have the testimony of the holy angels also by the
scriptures. And first look into Mark 16:3-7 the words are these,
'And they [viz. the disciples] said among themselves, Who shall
roll us away the stone?' They had a good mind to see their Lord,
but they could not, as they thought, get away the stone which
covered the mouth of the sepulchre. 'And when they looked [that
is, towards the sepulchre] they saw that the stone was rolled
away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they
saw a young man [that is, an angel] sitting on the right side,
clothed in a long white garment; and They [the disciples] were
affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted [you have
no cause for it] Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified:
he is risen, he is not here; behold the place where they laid
him.' What scripture can be plainer spoken than this? Here is an
angel of the Lord ready to satisfy the disciples of Jesus, that
he was risen from the dead. And lest they should think it was not
the right Jesus he spoke of, Yes, saith he, it is the same Jesus
that you mean; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, do you not? Why he is
risen, he is not here. But do you speak seriously, and in good
earnest? Yea surely, if you will not believe me, behold the place
where they laid him. This scripture, or testimony is very clear
to our purpose. But again, the next place is in Matthew 28:3-7.
In the third verse there is an angel (as before) bearing witness
of the resurrection of Jesus. 'His countenance was like lightning,
and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did
shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said
unto them, [viz. to the women who came to seek Jesus] Fear not
ye': but let them that seek to keep the Lord in his grave fear if
they will; for you have no ground of fear, who seek Jesus who was
crucified; He is not here, for he is risen; he cannot be in body
here and risen too: If you will not believe me, come, see where
the Lord lay, and go quickly and tell his disciples that he is
risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee,
there shall you see him. But shall we be sure of it? Yea, saith
the angel, Lo, it is I that have told you. See how plainly this
scripture also doth testify of Christ his resurrection. Here,
saith the angel, you seek a Saviour and none will content you but
he, even the same that was crucified: Well you shall have him,
but he is not here. Why, where is he then? He is risen from the
dead. But are you sure it is the same that we look for? Yea, it is
the same that was crucified (v 5). But where should we find him?
why, he goeth before you into Galilee, where he used to be in his
life-time, before he was crucified: And that you might be sure of
it, there to find him, know that he is an angel of God that hath
told you (v 7). And thus have you in brief the testimony of the
angels of God, to witness that Jesus the son of the virgin, the
Son of God, is risen from the dead.

Object. But you will say, might they not be deceived? Might not
their eyes dazzle, and they might think they did see such a thing,
when indeed there was no such matter?

Ans. Well, because it is so difficult a matter, to be persuaded
of the truth of this thing, that Christ is raised again out of
the grave, that very man, with that very body; though these things
that have been already spoken, might be enough (through grace)
to satisfy, yet because of the unbelief of some, we shall turn to
some more of those infallible proofs that are spoken of in Acts
1:3 to prove the point yet more clear.

Third, Do but see how the Lord doth deal with an unbelieving
disciple (John 20:23-29). You shall see in the 23d verse, Christ
after his resurrection is talking with his disciples, but Thomas
was not with them. But when the disciples saw him again, they
said unto him, We have seen the Lord (v 25) but Thomas would not
believe them. Another time Jesus comes to his disciples again,
and then Thomas was with them; then so soon as the Lord had said,
'Peace be unto you,' he turned himself to Thomas, and said to him;
'Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach
hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless,
but believing' (v 27). As much as if the Lord should have said,
Come Thomas, thou hast doubted of the truth of my resurrection
very much; thou sayest that thou wilt not believe, except thou do
feel with thy fingers the print of the nails, and do thrust thy
hand into my side. Come Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold
my hands, and see if there were not the nails driven through them;
and reach hither thy hands and thrust them into my side, and feel
if I have not the very hold in it still, that was made with the
spear that the soldier did thrust into it, and be not so full of
unbelief, but believe that my resurrection is a glorious truth.

Another infallible proof, is that in Luke 24 from the 36th, to
the end of the 44th verse. In verse 30 it is said that the Lord,
(even while they were talking) 'stood in the midst of them and
saith unto them, Peace be unto you': But they were so far from
being at peace, that they were terrified, and supposed that they
had seen a spirit. And Jesus said to them, 'Why are ye troubled,
and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?' What, do you think that
I am a spirit? Do you think your eyes dazzle? 'Behold my hands
and my feet.' Look well upon me, and see my hands, and the holes
in them, and likewise my feet, and the holes in them, and know
that it is I myself, and not a spirit, as you suppose. Know, that
it is I myself, and not another. Doth your hearts fail you? Then
take hold of me with your hands, yea, 'handle me, and see; for a
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he
had thus spoken he shewed them his hands and his feet.' As if he
had said, Come my disciples, take special notice of me, do not be
daunted, nor affrighted, but consider that it is I myself. Well,
they could not believe as yet, but wondered that such a thing as
this should be: And while they were thus wondering he will give
them another infallible proof: And 'he said unto them, have you
here any meat?' (v 41). As if the Lord had said, Come my disciples,
I see that you are very full of unbelief, if you have here any
meat, you shall see me eat before you all. And they gave him a
piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb, 'And he took it, and
did eat before them.' Again (v 42), the Lord strives with another
infallible proof against their doubting, saying, My disciples,
do you not remember what discourse you and I had before I was
crucified, how that I told you, that all things must be fulfilled
which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets
concerning me (Mark 8:31, 14:21). Another infallible proof was,
that appearance of his at the sea of Tiberias, where he came to
them on the shore, and called them, and provided for them a dinner,
and wrought a notable miracle while he was there with them at that
time, namely, the catching of 153 great fishes, and yet their net
break not. (John 21, read that whole chapter, and Acts 10:41.)
Which as it was a great miracle, so it did also show his power
and authority over his creatures. Besides his eating and drinking
with his disciples after his resurrection; and also his preaching
to them (Acts 1:3). This is not the least, viz. that he was with
his disciples on earth forty days, which was almost six weeks,
speaking to them the things concerning his kingdom: which was a
mighty confirmation of their faith in his resurrection.

Fourth, I shall now briefly touch two or three scriptures, the
which hold forth his disciples' testimony of his resurrection.
And the first is in Acts 10:40, 41. In which place the Apostle
speaking of the Lord Jesus, saith, 'Him God raised up the third
day, and shewed him openly,' yet 'Not to all the people, but unto
witnesses chosen before of God, even to us [saith the Apostle] who
did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.' Again,
Acts 4:10 and 13:29-31. The words run thus (the Apostle speaking
of Jesus, saith) 'And when they had fulfilled all that was written
of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a
sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many
days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem,
who are his witnesses unto the people.' See 1 Corinthians 15:1-8.
And thus far touching his resurrection from the dead.

ASCENSION. In the next place I am to prove that this very man,
Christ Jesus, the Son of the virgin, in his very body, the same
body that was crucified, is above the clouds and the heavens. And
though this is made light of by those men called quakers, and other
infidels of this generation: Yet I am sure that it will prove true
to their cost, who reject it as erroneous and vain. But to prove
it, First, I shall prove that he is ascended. Secondly, that he
is ascended above the clouds, and the heaven.

First, that he is ascended, see Ephesians 4:8-10. 'Wherefore
[saith the Apostle] When he ascended up on high, he led captivity
captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is
it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the
earth, he that descended is the same also that ascended [again]
up far above all heavens.'

Again, read John 20:17 where Christ after his resurrection from
the dead, saith to Mary Magdalen, 'Touch me not; for I am not
yet ascended to my Father': That is, I have not yet ascended with
this my body wherewith I was crucified on the cross. 'But go to
my brethren, and say unto them [meaning his disciples] I ascend
unto my Father and your Father; and to my God and your God.'

Object. But in that place, (may some say) (Eph 4:10) He that
descended, is said to be the same that ascended. Now there was no
human nature with God in heaven before the world was; Therefore
if he be but the same that was with the Father from all eternity,
then the humanity of the Son of Mary is not ascended into heaven.

Ans. For answer, It is clear from John 1:1 that the Word or Son
of God, as he was a Spirit, was with the Father before the world
was (Titus 1:2). But now, in the fulness of time, that is, when
that time that the Father and he had concluded on, was come, 'God
sent forth his son [which was with him before the world was (John
17:5)] made of a woman' (Gal 4:4); that is, born of a woman. 'And
took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness
of men' (Phil 2:6,7). Now as he was born of a woman, as he was
in the likeness of men, so he ascended to the right hand of his
Father, in our nature. And for this, I pray turn to Acts 1:9-11
and there you shall find, that he is the same that was born of the
virgin, that very man that was crucified; if you compare verse 3
with verses 9, 10, 11 you will find it so to be. Now in verse 9
after he had spoken many things while they beheld, that is, while
his disciples looked on him, he was taken up, that is, he was taken
up from them into heaven, as in verse 11 and a cloud received him
out of their sight. And while they looked up stedfastly towards
heaven, as he went up (which heaven, was not within them; if it
had, they needed not to have looked toward the clouds and the
heaven without them) behold two men stood by them, not in them,
in white apparel, which also said (that is, the two men, or angels
which stood by them said) Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing
up into heaven? Here again, they did not look within them, but
stood gazing or looking after the Lord Jesus, the Son of Mary,
who was carried away from them in a cloud (v 9). But why (say the
angels) do you stand gazing so much into heaven: your master will
come again after a certain time (Matt 25:19; Mark 13:34). For,
This same Jesus, namely, which was crucified, which rose again,
and hath been with you these forty days, which also you see go
into heaven, shall so come, (namely in a cloud) as ye have seen
him go into heaven (Acts 1:3). But shall he not lose his body
before he come again? No say the angels, he shall so come, that
is, as ye have seen him go; in like manner, that is, with the same
body. Or else I am sure he cannot come in the same manner, if he
lose his body before he comes again; for he went thither with that
body. But that same Jesus that was crucified, is he that went,
or ascended up into heaven. If you compare Luke 24:39-44 with the
50th and 51st verses of the same chapter, you may clearly find it
so to be. And therefore if he come again in like manner, he must
come again with the same body wherewith he was crucified.

Object. But you will say, The scripture saith, he that descended
is the same that ascended, which to me (say you) implies, none
but the Spirit's ascending?

Ans. For answer, we do not say, (as I said before) that it is
another that ascended, but the very same: That is, the very same
Christ, that was with the Father from everlasting did come down
from heaven: That same Christ also that came down from heaven did
ascend up thither again; only, he descended without a body from
heaven, and took flesh and blood upon him from the virgin. And
though he descended without a body, yet he, the very same Christ
that descended without a body, the same did ascend again with
a body, even that very body that he took of the virgin Mary. See
Luke 24 from 39th to 51st verses; Acts 2:30, 31; John 15:1; 1
Corinthians 9:24, 25. Now let me give you a similitude, for it is
warrantable; for both Christ and his apostles did sometimes use
them, to the end, souls might be better informed. The similitude
is this, Suppose there come into thine house a man that is naked,
and without clothing, though he go out of thy house again well
clothed, yet the same man that came in without clothing, is the
same man also that goes out of thy house, though very well clothed.
Even so it is in this case, The Lord Jesus came into the womb of
the virgin, Spirit (Matt 1:18), but he came out of the womb clothed
with a body, and went up into heaven again clothed with a body.
Compare Luke 24:39 with Acts 1:11 and 2 :30, 31.

Now also I shall lay down some few things to be considered, for
the better clearing of it.

Consider 1. That he did say to his disciples that he would go away
from them (John 14:3, 16:7; Matt 25:19). Yea, saith he, I go and
prepare a place for you, and then I will, after a long time, come
again, and take you to myself, that where I am, that is, whither
I am going, there ye may be also. Now, I say, if Christ had not
gone from his disciples (for that was his meaning) touching his
bodily presence; I say, if he had not gone away from them, in respect
of his bodily presence, he had said more than he had performed;
which is horrible blasphemy once to assert; which going of his,
is his going into heaven. See 1 Peter 3:22.

Consider 2. That there it was that he was to receive the promise
of the Father (Luke 24:49), which promise was the shedding forth
in an abundant manner the blessed Holy Ghost. And for this see
Acts 2:33-36, 'Therefore being by the right hand of God [which is
in heaven] exalted, and having received of the Father the promise
of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and
hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith
himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house
of Israel know assuredly [for 'tis very true] that God hath made
that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.'

Consider 3. That if he were on earth, he could not be a priest (Heb
8:4). Now the man Christ Jesus is a glorious priest (Heb 7:24) in
the heavens (Heb 9:24). And therefore he is able to save to the
uttermost, all that come to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to
make intercession for them. (This man (7:25)).

Consider 4. If he be not gone into heaven, both his own, and his
Apostles' doctrine is false; yea, the witness of the angels also,
which to think were damnable infidelity in any man (1 Peter 3:22;
Acts 1:9-11).

Consider 5. Know that he is gone into heaven, because the scriptures
say he is; which is the very truth of God, spoken by his holy
Apostles and prophets: Yea, holy men of God, spake them as they
were moved by the Holy Ghost (Eph 6:9; 1 Peter 3:22; Heb 9:24).

Consider 6. If thou sayest that that man is not gone into heaven,
then thou must also conclude that he is still in the grave; and if
so, then thou sayest that the prophets, apostles, angels, Christ,
God, and all are liars, who have testified these things in the
scriptures for glorious truths (Isa 26:19; Acts 10:40-43, 13:30-39,
1:9-11; Rev 1:17,18, 2:8). And as the Apostle saith of himself,
and the rest of the Apostles and ministers of Jesus Christ, 'And
we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified
of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be
that the dead rise not.--But now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the first fruits of them that slept. For as by man
came death, by MAN came also the resurrection of the dead' (1 Cor
15:15,20-22).

Second, Now I am to prove, that he is above the clouds and the
heavens. My meaning is, he is above the lowest heavens. For there
are three, as appears in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4. I knew a man in
Christ, (saith Paul there) caught up into the third heaven. Now,

Heaven in scripture, is taken sometimes metaphorically, and sometimes
properly. First, Metaphorically it is taken for the church and
people of God, as in Revelation 12:12. Second, Properly, it is
taken for the material heaven, where the sun, moon, and stars are
placed, as in Genesis 1:8, 14, 15, 16 compared together: above
which heaven, Jesus the Son of Mary is ascended. Therefore I pray
you consider with me a little.

Consider 1. That when he went into this heaven into which he is
gone, he went AWAY from his disciples, as it is written, If I go
not away, the comforter will not come (John 14:2,3; John 16:7;
Acts 1:9-11). So that he did not go into a heaven within them in
his person and human nature. If so, he must needs go into that
heaven without, above the clouds and the stars (Gen 1:8,5,16).

Consider 2. He was caught away in a cloud; yea, and was caught
upwards from them, as it is Acts 1:9-11 and carried away into
heaven; yea, and his disciples stood gazing or looking up after
him into heaven, which heaven must needs be that above the clouds.
(1.) If you consider the posture of the disciples, they looked
upwards after the cloud that did take him away. (2.) Consider the
manner of his going, it was in a cloud. (3.) He was received out
of their sight. (4.) And so received up into heaven; which heaven
must needs be above the clouds, where God is in his special presence
(Job 22:12-14). But further,

Consider 3. That those believers that are alive at this day in
the body, 'are absent from the Lord' (2 Cor 5:6), but now, if the
man Christ were ascended into that heaven within them, he would
neither be 'absent from them,' nor they from him; but in that he
is absent from them touching his bodily presence, and they from
him touching the same, it is evident that that heaven into which
he is ascended, must needs be without, above the clouds.

Consider 4. That that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended,
must contain him till the time of the restitution of all things,
as in Acts 3:21 into which heaven he hath been ascended above
sixteen hundred years by computation. And I am sure there is not
a saint that doth live in the world half so long, before he fall
asleep, and be gathered to his fathers; so that that heaven into
which he is ascended, is not within, but must needs be that above
the clouds. But

Consider 5. That he that ascended from his disciples, was a man,
with flesh and bones, not a sprit only; for handle me, and
see, (saith he) for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see
me have (Luke 24:39,50,51). Now let the adversaries show by the
scriptures, that there is any place in them called heaven, that
is able to contain a man of some four or five feet long, the space
of fifteen or sixteen hundred years; besides that: therefore, it
must needs be that heaven without, which is above the clouds and
stars.

Consider 6. That heaven into which the Lord Jesus that man is
ascended must not contain him always; for, saith the Apostle (1
Thess 4:16) 'The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel.' So that there is another
descending from that heaven into which he is ascended; and his
descending from that heaven is to this end, namely, to take his
people to himself, as it is verse 17 so that it is clear that it
is not any heaven within thee, into which the man Christ that was
born of the Virgin Mary is ascended, but it must needs be that
heaven without, which is above the clouds (Heb 12:22). If thou
consider, that the place into which he ascended, even the heaven
into which he is entered, is the same place where all the deceased
saints are in their spirits: 'Therefore,' saith Paul, 'I desire
to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.' Now Paul
did not in this place (Phil 1:23) mean the enjoying of Christ
only in the Spirit; for that he enjoyed in great measure when he
spake these words; but he spake of a dying, and being with Christ
after this life is ended; as is clear if you compare the 20th to
the 26th verses together, being absent from him while he was here
in the body (2 Cor 5:6). For 'whilst we are at home in the body,
we are absent from the Lord.'

Consider 7. That that heaven into which the man Christ is ascended,
is not into his church on earth; but into heaven without, above
the clouds and the stars (John 16:7, 14:1-3; 1 Tim 2:5). And this
David doth prophesy of (Psa 47:5), where he saith, 'God is gone up
with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.' Now Christ,
as God merely, could not go up, being no less in one place than
another; but as God-man, or in his human nature, he went up; as
will clearly appear (Eph 4:8-10) where he speaketh of his triumph
over all the enemies of his people at his resurrection and ascension
into heaven above the clouds.

Consider 8. When Christ doth descend from that heaven into which
he is now ascended, his saints and he will meet one another, just
in the air, according to the scripture (1 Thess 4:16,17), 'For,'
(saith he) 'the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a
shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
and the dead in Christ shall rise first: [that is, they shall come
out of their graves]. Then we which [shall be saved] are alive
[at that day] and remain shall be caught up together with them in
the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be
with the Lord.'

Pray mark here a little, and see what heaven the man Christ is
ascended into, and see if it be not the heaven without, above the
sun, moon, and stars.

When Christ and his saints do meet a second time together, the
one ascends and the other descends; the one is caught up in the
clouds towards the heaven, the other descends from heaven towards
the earth, and they must needs meet one another just in the air,
that is, between the heaven and the earth. So then, the one coming
from heaven and the other from the earth, and their meeting being
in the air, which is between heaven and earth, is an undeniable
demonstration, that that heaven into which the man Christ is
ascended, must needs be that heaven without, above the sun, moon,
and stars (Phil 3:20; 1 Thess 1:10). And thus much touching the
Son of Mary, his ascending up into the heaven without above the
clouds (Acts 1:9-11, 3:21; 1 Peter 3:22).

INTERCESSION. In the next place, now I shall prove the intercession
of the man Christ Jesus to be in the heaven that I have been
speaking of; though some have mocked at it, and others have called
it juggling; which names here I shall not mention, only I shall
admonish them, that they do not blaspheme the truth and Son of
God in his intercession.

I shall quote some of the scriptures that hold out this truth,
and so pass on.

First, And first of all, see Psalm 16:4 where David prophesying
of the intercession of Christ, saith, 'Their sorrows shall be
multiplied that hasten after another God, [speaking of the wicked]
their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their
names into my lips.' Now, compare this with Hebrews 8:4 where
he saith, 'if he were on earth, he should not be a priest.' And
Hebrews 9:24, 'For Christ is not entered into the holy places
made with hands, [meaning the temple which Solomon built] which
are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear
in the presence of God for us': 'wherefore he is able also to save
them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever
liveth to make intercession for them' (Heb 7:25).

Second, But you will say, is there a man made mention of here?
Yes, for the scripture saith, 'There is one God, and one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus' (1 Tim 2:5). And in
that 8th to the Hebrews made mention of before; where the Apostle
is speaking of Christ's priestly office, as he is in the heavens,
compared with other priests that are on earth; he saith (v 3),
'For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices:
wherefore [speaking of Christ] it is of necessity that this man
have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should
not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts
according to the law,' which law was the law of Moses (9:19-23),
where also he is speaking of the priesthood of the priests under
the law, and their offering of the blood of bulls and goats (v 12
compared with vv 19-21). And of the Lord Jesus the high priests
of saints, and of his blood (v 14 compared with v 24). Now as men
under the law did offer up the blood of bulls and goats, so the
man Christ Jesus did offer up his own blood to his Father; and this
you may clearly see, if you compare Hebrews 9:14 where he saith,
'How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal
Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences
from dead works to serve the living God?' [with] Hebrews 10:12
where he saith, 'But this man [meaning the Son of the Virgin (2:14
compared with Matt 1:21)] after he had offered one sacrifice for
sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God'; again (Heb 7)
the chapter I mentioned before, you shall find his intercession
plainly held forth, if you read verse 22 and so on, where the
scripture saith, 'By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better
testament. And they truly were many priests [meaning the priests
under the law] because they were not suffered to continue by
reason of death': (that is, the high-priest under the law, could
not live ever in this world, because it was appointed to all men
once to die) (Rev 2:8). But when he speaks of Christ Jesus, he
saith on this wise, 'But this man, because he continueth ever,
hath an unchangeable priesthood' (Rev 1:18). Wherefore he (this
man) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto
God by him, seeing he (this man) ever liveth to make intercession
for them. And thus in brief have I proved through the assistance
of the Lord, the intercession of the Son of Mary, which is also
the Son of God. And this concerning Christ's priestly office,
might serve also for a proof of his being in the heaven without,
above the stars. But all men may see (unless they be blind) that
these are the truths of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of God his
Father; and that those men that oppose them (as the quakers do)
are very violently possessed of the devil, and besides themselves;
and have neither the truth of God, nor his Spirit in them (2 John
9:10; John 5:38,42).

[CHRIST JUDGE OF QUICK AND DEAD.] And now through the assistance
of the Lord, I shall come to the last that I promised, and that
is to prove, that this very man Christ, will come to judge the
quick and the dead. And first, I shall prove the truth itself,
viz., That that man shall come again to judge the world, quick
and dead. Second, I shall shew you that his coming will be very
shortly. Third, What shall be done at his coming. fourth, Who
shall stand when he shall come, and who not.

First, That that man that was born of the Virgin Mary shall come
again to judge the quick and the dead, read 2 Timothy 4:1. 'I,
[saith Paul] charge thee therefore before God, [speaking to him,
even to Timothy, and so to all believers] and the Lord Jesus
Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing
and his kingdom.' Now if you would know who this Lord Jesus is,
look into Acts 10:28 and you shall see it was Jesus of Nazareth;
would you know who that was? read Matthew 2 towards the end, and
you shall see it was the Son of Mary the Virgin, who was espoused
to Joseph the carpenter. But read Acts 10:38-42, you shall find
these words, 'God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost
and with the power: who went about doing good, and healing all
that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him: And we
are witness of things which he did both in the land of the Jews,
and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree, [even
Jesus of Nazareth] Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him
openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before
of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose
from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, [that
is, God commanded us] and to testify [that is, to be bold in our
preaching] that it is he [namely, Jesus of Nazareth, whom the
Jews did thus crucify] which was ordained of God to be the judge
of quick and dead.' This is he also that is spoken of in Acts
17:30, 31. 'The times of this ignorance God winked at; [meaning
men's being without the gospel] but now commandeth all men everywhere
to repent: Because he hath appointed a day [which day is the day
of judgment (Matt 12:36)] in the which he will judge the world
in righteousness, by that man [namely, Jesus of Nazareth] whom he
hath ordained, [compare this with that in Acts 10:38-42] whereof
he hath given assurance unto all men [that is, hath given a sure
sign unto all men] in that he hath raised him, [that is, in that
he hath raised Jesus of Nazareth] from the dead.' This also is
Christ's own meaning (Matt 24) where speaking of his second coming,
he styleth himself the Son of man, saying: 'And then shall appear
the sign of the Son of man' (v 30), and 'so shall also the coming
of the Son of man be' (v 27). So shall also the coming of the Son
of man be (v 37). So shall also the coming of the Son of man be
(v 39). Where, by the way, it is observable to see how the Lord
of life and glory doth in this chapter, where he speaketh of his
second coming, for the most part style himself the Son of man.
Sure he doth it to this end, because he will not have his humanity
and the doctrine thereof, to be razed out from under heaven: For
he knew, that in the last days, there would come mockers 'walking
after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his
coming' (2 Peter 3:3). I could multiply scriptures to prove this
doctrine of his second coming, as Hebrews 9:28; 2 Peter 3; 2 Thess
1:6-8; Luke 21; Matt 24, 25; Eve 22:7, 12 and 20; 2 Corinthians
5:10; Romans 14:10; Acts 24:25. But,

Secondly, I will shew you that his coming will be shortly. It is
true, no man can tell neither the day nor the hour, yet so far as
the scriptures will give us light into the nearness of his coming,
so far we may go. And if you read Matthew 24 you shall see many
sings of his coming spoken of.

1. There is falling away from the faith spoken of. And that hath
been fulfilled and is fulfilling every day.

2. Wars and rumours of wars is another sign that his coming doth
draw night, even at the doors.

3. The love of many waxing cold, is another sign that it is nigh,
even the coming of Christ. And how cold is the love of many at
this day? They that were hot two or three years ago, are now grown
lukewarm and cold. They are cold in the Lord's appearing. They
are cold in the profession of the gospel. They are cold in love to
the saints, they are cold in the worship of God; Yea, very cold,
which is a notable demonstration that the coming of the Lord
draweth nigh.

4. The stars falling from heaven; (That is professors falling
from the faith which once they professed) is another sign that
the coming of the Lord is at hand. And how many professors do you
see now a-days, fall from the doctrine of God, and his Son Jesus
Christ, as though there were no such thing as a world to come,
and no such thing as a Lord Jesus Christ, and his second coming.

5. Many poor souls will go on in their profession with lamps
without oil, just before his second coming (Matt 25:1-7). And the
Lord knows that most of the professors of this generation, are
such kind of professors, yea, very foolish professors, which is
another sure sign, that the coming of the Lord draws nigh.

6. When the time of Christ's second coming is at hand, there will
be but a very little faith in the world. And the Lord knows, that
there be many, who are now as high as lucifer, that at that day
for want of faith will be thrown down to the sides of the pit:
even in the very belly of hell.

7. Another sign of Christ's second coming, is the carnal mindedness
of the most of the world; and the very carriages of almost all
men now living do discover this truth to be at this day fulfilled,
and know that when they shall say peace and safety, then sudden
destruction comes, and they shall not escape (1 Thess 5:1-4).

8. Before Christ's second coming, there shall come many false Christs
and false prophets, and shall shew great signs, and wonders, to
seduce if it were possible the elect (Matt 24:24; Mark 13:22). And
is not this more clearly fulfilled in our days than ever it was,
especially among those men called quakers, who being as persons,
whose consciences are seared with an hot iron, and they being sealed
up unto destruction, do some of them call themselves Christ, and
shew great signs, (as their quaking) and such a legal holiness, as
makes the simple admire them, and wonder after them, which shews
the coming of Christ to be very nigh.

9. Before Christ's second coming, there shall come scoffers in
the world, walking after their own lusts (2 Peter 3:3) and if ever
this scripture was fulfilled, it is fulfilled on these men called
quakers: For they are the men, that at this day make a mock
at Christ's second coming, which shall be from heaven without (1
Thess 1:10; Phil 3:20); and therefore saith the Holy Ghost, these
mockers shall be such as shall say, where is the promise of his
coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as
they were, see 2 Peter 3:3-7. And there you shall see their mocking
and the reason of it. Read and the Lord give thee understanding.
But I would not have thee think that I speak at random, in this
thing, Know for certain, that I myself have heard them blaspheme;
yea, with a grinning countenance, at the doctrine of that man's
second coming from heaven above the stars, who was born of the
Virgin Mary. Yea, they have told me to my face, that I have used
conjuration, and witchcraft, because what I preached was according
to the scriptures. I was also told to my face, that I preached up
an idol, because I said, that the Son of Mary was in heaven, with
the same body that was crucified on the cross; And many other
things have they blasphemously vented against the Lord of life and
glory, and his precious gospel. The Lord reward them according as
their work shall be.

I could have hinted in many other things which Christ and his
Apostles have shewed to be signs of his coming. But I shall commend
the holy scriptures unto thee, which are able to make the man of
God perfect in all things, through faith in the Lord Jesus (2 Tim
3:17).

Now you have also the manner of his coming how it shall be, most
notably laid down in the scriptures. I shall hint in a few things
touching it.

1. He will come when there is but very few looking for his coming.
'When they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction
cometh' (1 Thess 5:1-3). Which sudden destruction will be at his
second coming, for that is it which the Apostle spake of in those
three verses. Then will all the world be caught at such an unexpected
time, that it will come upon them, even as a snare cometh upon
those creatures that are caught in it. As it is written (Luke
21:35) 'For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the
face of the whole earth.' Which is all on a sudden, before they
are aware.

2. He cometh with all his saints and angels. Then will the Lord
descend from that heaven, into which he is now ascended, as it is
written in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. Then will he come, and all his
saints with him, as Jude saith in his Epistle, 15. then shall
Abel and Enoch, Noah and Abraham, David and Job, Peter and Paul:
Together with all the saints which have been, now are, or hereafter
shall be, and they shall sit on the throne with the Lord Jesus
Christ, as in Matthew 19:28. Before whom shall all the nations
of the world be gathered, as it is written (Joel 3:12). 'Let the
heathen be wakened [or raised out of their graves (Dan 12:2)]
and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to
judge the heathen round about.' Which never was yet accomplished,
though it shall certainly be, in God's time: To the astonishment,
and everlasting damnation of all those that shall continue mocking,
or sinning against God and his Christ.

3. He shall come in a flaming fire, (when he doth come again: he
will come in such a manner, as will make all that shall be found
in their sins rather seek to creep under a mountain, than to meet
the Lord of glory (Rev 6:15)). As Isaiah saith, 'For, behold, the
LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind,
to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire'
(Isa 66:15). 'To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all
that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they
have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which
ungodly sinners have spoken against him' (Jude 15), as I shall
shew farther by and by.

Third, And therefore in the next place, I shall shew you, what
shall be done when he is come.

1. When Christ is come the second time, they that are in their
graves shall arise, and come forth of their graves (as I said
before) in which they have lain according to that in John 5:28, 29.
Where Christ saith, 'Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming,
in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and
shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection
of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of
damnation.' You will say, Are these graves spoken of here, the
graves that are made in the earth? Yea, that they are, and for
a further proof of the same, look into Daniel 12:2. Daniel there
speaking of the same thing saith, 'And many of them that sleep in
the dust of the earth shall awake, [or arise] some to everlasting
life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt' (or damnation).

I shall not stand here to dispute any distinctions of the
resurrections, only prove that the dead shall arise; and that is
a clear truth from the scriptures (Acts 10:42; Rev 20:11-14; 1
Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:52). 'The dead shall be raised.'

2. He shall call all men and women to an account for all their[3]
close sinful thoughts, words and actions; then will the secrets
of all hearts be made manifest. Then shall all thy adulterous,
and thievish, and covetous, idolatrous, and blasphemous thoughts
be laid open, according to that saying, 'Their consciences also
bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean [time, or] while accusing
or else excusing one another' (Rom 2:15). But when? Why, 'In the
day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ' (v
16). See also 1 Corinthians 4:5, 'Therefore judge nothing before
the time.' What time is that? Why, when the Lord comes; what will
he do? He 'will bring to light the hidden things of darkness,'
that is, all those cunning, close, hidden wickednesses that thou
in thy life-time hast committed; yea, he will 'make manifest the
counsels of the hearts'; that is, the most hidden and secret things
that are contrived and plotted by the sons of men. Then shall all
the midnight whore-mongers be laid open with all their sins; Then
thou (it may be) who has committed such sins as thou wouldest not
have thy neighbour, thy father, thy wife, thy husband, or any one
else know of for thousands, then thou shalt have them all laid
open, even upon the house tops (Luke 12:3). Then thou that hatest
God's children; his ways, his word, his Spirit; then thou that
makest a mock at Jesus of Nazareth's second coming, then thou
that livest in open prophaneness, or secret hypocrisy, then I say,
will be such a time of reckoning for you, as never was since the
world began, then you that shall die in your sins, will cry to
the mountains, Fall on us, and cover us from the face of him that
sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (which Lamb
is the Man Christ Jesus (John 1:29)). And ah, my friends! If the
very looks of God be so terrible, what will his blows be, think
you? Then if all thy idle words shall be accounted for, as it is
written, 'But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall
speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment' (Matt
12:36) and also all thy filthy actions shall be then regarded in
such sort, as thou shalt receive a just recompense for them. And
know, saith the scripture, 'that for all these things, God will
bring thee into judgment' (Eccl 11:9). Then

Thou that art an unbeliever, shalt be sure to fall under the judgment
for all thy sins. (1.) Thou must give an account. (2.) Thou must
fall in the judgment. Oh my friends, there are hot days a-coming
for all those that are found out of the Lord Jesus: Behold, saith
Malachi, 'The day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all
the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and
the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts,
that it shall leave them neither root nor branch' (4:1). The day
of judgment will burn like an oven, and all that have not the
righteousness of Christ upon them shall be as stubble. Ah friends,
put a red hot oven and stubble together, and what work will there
be! Even the one will burn and destroy the other.

3. When Christ doth come the second time, another end of his coming
will be to pure out all things that offended in this kingdom (Matt
13:41,42). 'The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they
shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them
which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire;
there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.' There are many
things that do offend in his kingdom now: namely

(1.) The lukewarm professor, he doth offend, (a.) the Lord, (b.)
his people. But then thou lukewarm offending professor shalt offend
the church of God no more.

(2.) The loose professors do also offend God, Christ and his church.
(a.) He scandals the gospel by his loose walking, and naughty
carriages. (b.) He doth make the world blaspheme the name of God
by the same. (c.) He grieves the hearts of God's people (Phil
3:18). But know that thou also shalt be taken away from offending
any more, God, Christ, and his saints, and thou shalt have weeping
and gnashing of teeth, for thy thus offending (Matt 18:6,7).

4. Another end of Christ's second coming, is to cut off all the
ignorant persons that are in the world. There is a generation of
poor souls that do think to be excused for their ignorance: Alas!
saith one, I am a poor ignorant man, or woman; and therefore I
hope that the Lord will have mercy upon me: we cannot, say others,
do as such and such, and will the Lord condemn us? And thus poor
souls, as they are in the broad way to destruction, lest they
should miss of the way to hell; do swallow down by clusters, that
which will poison them, body and soul for ever and ever.

Quest. But you will say, What, will not the Lord have mercy on
ignorant souls?

Ans. Not on those who live and die in their ignorance. He himself
hath said (Isa 27:11), 'For it is a people of no understanding:
therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he
that formed them will shew them no favour.' Again, Paul also in
that 2 Thessalonians 1:8 saith, that when Jesus Christ shall come
to judge the world, he doth come to take vengeance on all 'them
that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ.'

But ye will say, Who are those ignorant persons, that shall find
no favour at that day? or how doth the ignorance discover itself?
I shall only mention three or four sorts of men; and leave thee to
the scriptures, which if thou read them diligently, will further
lay them open before thee. And,

(1.) The profane scoffer, who makes a mock at the truths of God,
and so goes on in his sins, for this see in 2 Peter 3:3 which
the apostle attributes to their ignorance (v 5). And therefore he
likens them to brute beasts (2:10,12) who 'walk after the flesh in
the lust of uncleanness,' and 'speak evil of the things that they
understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption';
who because they understand not the scripture, nor the power of
God in them, speak evil of the truths therein contained, and think
the Lord like unto themselves (Psa 50).

(2.) The formal professor, who hath only a notion of the gospel,
and some seeming holiness, but wants gospel faith: such are called
foolish virgins (Matt 25:2,3) to whom Christ will say in that day,
Verily, 'I know you not.' Add hereto, those that think it enough
to confess Christ with their mouths, and profess that they know
God, but deny him in their works; such notwithstanding all their
profession, shall, if they so continue, perish eternally, being
abominable, disobedient, and to every good work reprobate, or void
of judgment, that is, ignorant (Titus 1:16).

(3.) The legal righteous man or woman, though they walk blameless,
as touching the righteousness that is in the law: For they being
ignorant of God's righteousness, go about to establish their own
righteousness, as reading, hearing sermons, prayers, public or
private, peaceableness with their neighbours, fasting, alms, good
works as they count them, just dealings, abstinence from the grosser
pollutions of the world, stricter obedience to the commandments
of the first and second table; all which with many other things
may be comprehended in their own righteousness, and it is grounded
on their ignorance, and goes on in rebellion; and such ignorant
persons shall in that day perish, not submitting through ignorance
to the righteousness of God, Romans 10:3 compared with Luke 19:27
where Christ saith, that when he shall come the second time, he
will command those his enemies, who submitted not themselves to
him, (who is called the righteousness of God (Isa 46:13)) or would
not have him to reign over them, to be slain before his face.

(4.) Those whose hearts are set upon the world, and follow the
alluring persuasions of it; the Lord calls such fools (Luke
12:20; Prov 7:7), who go after it (viz. the world, held forth by
a similitude of a woman with the attire of an harlot) as an ox
to the slaughter, or a fool to the correction of the stocks, till
a dart strike through his liver, as a bird hasteth to the snare,
and knoweth not that it is for his life: and knows not, mark, it
is through ignorance (v 23).

5. A fit end of Christ's coming, is, that his righteous ones might
shine as the sun in the glory, or kingdom of their father (Matt
13:43). There are many things that do hinder the people of God
from shining forth as the sun now.

As, They have a body of death, which makes them fetch many a groan
in their journey to Canaan (Rom 7:24; 2 Cor 5:2). They meet with
many a sad temptation, which also makes them in heaviness many a
time (1 Peter 1:6). They have also many other things that do hinder
their shining now; but then the body of death shall be left off.
My meaning is, that sin shall be no more in the natures of God's
people then: Their bodies that are now so vile, shall then be made
like unto the glorious body of the Son of God, 'Who shall change
our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious
body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue
all things unto himself' (Phil 3:21).

6. Another end of Christ's coming shall be to take an account of
his children, how they have laid out their talents, that he hath
committed to their trust (Matt 25:19; Rom 14:12; 2 Cor 5:10).

7. Another end of his coming is, to set up his kingdom, which
will be glorious indeed at his appearing (2 Tim 4:1; Rom 8:19-21).
I do but touch these things, because I would hasten towards a
conclusion; many other things might have been spoken to, but at
this time I shall forbear.

But you will say, Who shall stand when he appears? Why, I told
you before, that 'the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous' (Psa 1:5). Let
him be close or profane, as I told you even now, all shall be laid
open, all shall be made manifest, all shall come into judgment.

Ah poor soul! It is not then thy brave words will save thee; it
is not thine eloquent tongue that will then do thee any good:
if thou be without the wedding garment, thou wilt be speechless,
as in Matthew 22:12. But thou that art a converted person, shalt
stand in the judgment; thou that art born again shalt enter into
the kingdom, and none else (John 3:5; Rev 21:27).

But how shall I know that I am born again?

(1.) Why, if thou art born again, then thou knowest that thou wast
not born a Christian at first (Eph 2:1-3). 'You hath he quickened,
who were dead in trespasses and sins.'

(2.) Thou knowest that once thou hadst no faith in the Lord Jesus;
and wert convinced of sin because thou didst not believe in the
Son of Mary (John 16:9).

(3.) Thou seest all true joy through the blood and righteousness
of the Son of Mary (1 Cor 15:57; Rom 7:25).

(4.) Art thou born again? Then thou canst not be quiet till thou
seest God smile, and lift up the light of his countenance upon
thee (2 Cor 4:6; Psa 4:6) and that through the face of the Son of
Mary, the Son of God.

(5.) Thou knowest that God hath given thee thy faith (Phil 1:29;
Eph 2:8).

(6.) Art thou born again? Then thou knowest that the doctrine of
the Son of Mary the Virgin, is a right doctrine (2 John 9).

(7.) Then also thou lookest for the personal appearing of the Son
of Mary from heaven in the clouds, the second time (Heb 9:28; Rev
1:7).

These things, though plain, yet if the Lord set them home upon
thy conscience, may be profitable both to thee and me. Therefore
let us examine the matter a little. And

Examine 1. Thou thinkest that thou art a Christian; thou shouldest
be sorry else: Well, But when did God shew thee that thou wert
no Christian? When didst thou see that: And in the light of the
Spirit of Christ, see that thou wert under the wrath of God because
of original sin? (Rom 5:12). Nay, dost thou know what original
sin means? Is it not the least in thy thoughts? And dost thou not
rejoice in secret, that thou art the same that thou ever wert? If
so, then know for certain that the wrath of God to this very day
abideth on thee (John 3:36). And if so, then thou art one of those
that will fall in the judgment, except thou art born again, and
made a new creature (2 Cor 5:17).

Exam. 2. Thou thinkest that thou hast been born again, ('tis well
if thou hast) but least thou shouldest deceive thy poor soul,
I pray thee consider, when did the Spirit of the Lord Jesus shew
thee, that thou hadst no faith in thee by nature? And when did
the Spirit of Christ convince thee of sin, because thou didst not
believe in him? It may be thou hast been convinced of sins against
the law, by the law, and thine own conscience, as the Pharisees
were (John 8:9; Rom 3:20). Ay, but when didst thou see thyself a
lost creature for want of faith in the son of Mary? If not, thou
hast not yet been savingly convinced by the Spirit of Christ; for
that, when it convinceth effectually of sin, it convinceth of
unbelief; though thou hast been never so much convinced of sins
against the law, if thou hast not seen thyself under the power
and dominion, guilt and punishment of sin, because thou didst not
believe in Christ, thou hast not yet been savingly convinced; for
that's one work of the Spirit to convince of sin, 'Because they
believe not on me,' saith Jesus the Son of Mary, who was espoused
to Joseph the carpenter: But on the contrary, dost thou not say
in thy heart, thou never hadst thy faith to seek, but hast always
believed with as good a faith as any one alive? If so, then know
for certain that thou hast no faith of the operation of God in
thee, according to God's ordinary working; and if so, then know,
that if the Son of Man should come to judge the world at this
moment of time, that thou with all thy faith (thou thinkest thou
hast) wouldst fall in the judgment (2 Thess 2:12).

Exam. 3. Art thou born again? Then thou seest that thy great sin
was want of faith in the Son of Mary. Then thou seest that it is
he that was sent of God to die for the sins of the world (John
1:29, 3:16-19; Acts 13:38,39) and that thou art complete in him,
without any works of the law (Rom 4:5), then thou rejoicest in
Christ Jesus, and puttest no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3)
yet thou rejoicest in the flesh and blood of the Son of Mary,
knowing that his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink
indeed (John 6:55) out of which thou wouldest very willingly
make thy life all thy days; out of his birth, obedience, death,
resurrection, ascension, and glorious intercession, now at the
right hand of his Father (Heb 7:24,25), but if thou art wavering
in these things, know that thou art but a babe at the best, and
for ought thou knowest, God may cut thee off in thy unbelief, and
cast thee into utter darkness, where there shall be weeping and
wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Exam. 4. Art thou born again? Then thou seest all true peace and
joy comes through the blood of the Son of Mary, and his righteousness,
as in Romans 7:25 and 1 Corinthians 15:57, there are many poor
souls that are taken with raptures of joy, and false conceited
consolation (John 16:20) which doth come from the devil, and their
own deceitful hearts; but their joy shall be turned into mourning
and sorrow of heart (Luke 6:24,25), but thou that art a Christian
in deed, and not in word only, rejoicest in Christ Jesus the Son
of Mary; yea though now you see him not, yet believing, you rejoice
with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8). And these
two things are the fruits of thy faith, and of thy joy.

(1.) The Lord Jesus Christ is very precious unto thee (1 Peter
2:7).

(2.) Thou dost purify thine heart by this faith, and the power of
the Spirit of Christ, which thou hast received into thy soul (Rom
8:13; Acts 15:9; John 3:3). But if thy guilt of sin goes off, and
convictions go off any other way than by the blood and righteousness
of the Man Christ Jesus, thy guilt goes off not right, but wrong,
and thy latter end will be a very bitter end without faith and
repentance; for it is his blood through which all true peace comes
(Col 1:20), and there is no other name under heaven given among
men, whereby we should be saved, but by the Lord Jesus of Nazareth
(Acts 4:10-12 compared together).

Exam. 5. Art thou born again? Then thou canst not be quiet till
thou doest see God lift up the light of his countenance upon thee;
yea, thou hast such a desire after the light of God's countenance,
that, all the glory, riches, honour, pleasure, profits, &c. of this
world will not satisfy, till thou doest see God to be a reconciled
Father to thee in the Lord Jesus Christ, as it is Psalm 4:6; John
14:8; Psalm 35:3. Then thou wilt not be quiet till thou dost hear
from the Son of Mary, which is the Lord of glory, such a voice as
this, Son be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee: And 'my
grace is sufficient for thee' (2 Cor 12:9; 1 Cor 2:8). But if thou
canst content thyself with anything below this, thou wilt, when
all comes to all, be found but a rotten-hearted professor, who
will have thy portion among the slothful ones, who will fall in
the judgment of the Son of Man, when he comes in flaming fire with
his mighty angels (2 Thess 1:8).

Exam. 6. Art thou born again? Then thou knowest that God hath given
thee thy faith that thou hast in his Son: Then thou art to say
through grace, there was a time in which I had no faith; there was
a time in which I could not believe in the Son of God for eternal
life. 'But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith
he loved us, even when we were dead in sins [and unbelief; which
is the greatest;] hath quickened us together with Christ, by grace
ye are saved' (Eph 2:4,5), 'through faith' (v 8).

Exam. 7. Art thou born again? Then thou knowest that the doctrine
of the Son of God, the Son of Mary, is a right doctrine, which is
this:

That the Son of God which was with his Father before the world
was (John 1:1, 17:5) came into the world in the fulness of time,
and was made in the likeness of man (Phil 2:7) being made of
a woman or virgin, made under the law, to redeem them that were
under the law (Gal 4:4). And that was done in this wise. What the
law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh; that is,
through our flesh; God sending his own Son in likeness of sinful
flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that is, condemned
him in the flesh for the sins of poor sinners: For this, compare
Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21 with Galatians 3:13 and it will
appear clearly to be the truth of God: Also, that this Son of
God, which is the true God, as well as the Son of Mary, did bear
our sins in his own body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24) and did spill
his own blood, which is also the blood of God (Acts 20:28), that
he died, and was laid in Joseph's sepulchre (John 19:38-42) and rose
again the third day (Acts 10:40), that very Man (Luke 24:39-45),
and ascended up into heaven in a cloud (Acts 1:9-11) and there
ever lives to make intercession for us, that very man (Heb 7:24,25,
8:3, 10:12).

Exam. 8. And in the last place, If thou art a Christian, then
thou lookest for that very Jesus again, whom the Jews did crucify
(John 19), whom God raised again, as it is 1 Thessalonians 1:10.
I say, thou lookest, thou waitest, thou hasteneth after the coming
of this Lord Jesus, which doth deliver thee from the wrath to come
(2 Peter 3:10-12; Heb 9:26-28; 1 Thess 1:10). Yea, thou knowest,
that this very man shall so come in like manner, as his disciples
did see him go into heaven, which was a very man (Luke 24:39
compared with vv 50,51 of the same chapter). Yea, in a cloud he
went away from his disciples, and in the clouds he shall come again
(Rev 1:7) to judge all that are in their graves (John 5:28,29;
Dan 12:2) and shall receive all that look for, and love his second
coming, to himself (Heb 9:27,28). And they shall be for ever with
him (1 Thess 4:16,17). But the wicked shall be cast into eternal
damnation (Matt 25:46). These things, I say, if thou be a Christian
indeed, thou believest, and ownest, and the faith of them doth
purify thy heart (1 John 3:3) and wean thee from this world, and
the things thereof; and if it is not from this principle; that is,
if thy obedience do not flow from this faith, which is the faith
of God's elect, as I have proved at large, thy obedience, thy zeal,
thy self-denial, thy holiness, righteousness; yea, all that thou
canst do, is but sin in the sight of the great God of heaven and
earth (Heb 11:6; Rom 14:23). For all true sanctification comes
through the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, by the operation of
the Spirit of God (1 Cor 6:11). 'But ye are washed, but ye are
sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,
and by the Spirit of our God.' And (Cant 1:3), 'Thy name is as
ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.'

Well then, seeing this is a truth of so great concernment, I beseech
you, seek to be thoroughly rooted into it by faith. And that thou
mayest so be, examine thy heart; yea, beg of God to help thee
to examine it, and to throw out all that fancy that thou takest
instead of faith; also throw away all thine own wisdom; yea, thy
own righteousness also, and come to God in the name of the Son of
Mary, which is the Son of God, and beg faith of him, true faith,
the faith of the operation of God; such a faith as he gives to his
own elect, which will shew thee clearly of these things; so that
thou shalt not deceive thyself with a fancy of them; and the
advantages will be many.

Advantage 1. It will comfort thy heart against persecutions,
temptations, and cross providences, as also James saith to his
persecuted brethren; 'Be patient [my brethren, saith he], stablish
your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh' (John 5:8).

Advantage 2. It will through grace, wean thy heart and affections
abundantly from this world, and the things therein. 'Who is
he that overcometh the world, [saith John] but he that believeth
that Jesus is the Son of God?' (1 John 5:5). Who is he also that
purifies his heart, but he that looketh for the second coming of
Christ from heaven to judge the world? as in 1 John 3:3 compared
with 2 Peter 3:10, 11.

Advantage 3. Hereby thou wilt be able to judge of all doctrines
whatsoever, though they come never so nigh the truth, yet if
they be not indeed the very truth, thou wilt find them and their
doctrine liars (Rev 2:2; 1 Cor 2:15).

Advantage 4. If thou beest thoroughly set down in this doctrine,
even in the faith of this doctrine which I have held forth unto
thee, thou wilt not be taken with any other doctrine whatsoever.
What is the reason I pray you, that there are so many giddy-headed
professors in these days, that do stagger to and fro like a company
of drunkards, but this, They were never sealed in the doctrine of
the Father, and the Son? They were never enabled to believe that
that child that was born of the virgin Mary, was the mighty God
(Isa 9:6). No, saith Christ, he that is built upon this rock,
(meaning the faith of himself, which is to believe that the son
of Mary is the Christ of God (Matt 16:16)) the gates of hell shall
not prevail against him (v 18).

Advantage 5. The faith of this doctrine, will make thee labour in
the work of God in the world. Oh, it will liven thy heart in the
work of the Lord; especially, if thou livest in the faith of thy
interest in Christ, it will make thee labour to be found watching
when thy Lord shall return from the wedding; that when he doth
come, thou mayest open to him immediately (Luke 12:35,36).

Now seeing the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is so nigh, even
at the doors, what doth this speak to all sorts of people (under
heaven) but this?

Admonition 1. First, to see whether they have oil in their lamps
or not; that is, to search and see, whether the Spirit of the Man
Christ Jesus be in them or no; for he that hath not the Spirit of
Christ in him, is none of Christ's (Rom 8:9). Thou that hast not
the Spirit of Christ in thee, why, at that day (let thy profession
be what it will) he will say to thee, Depart, I know you not
(Matt 25), and if so, then thy latter end will be worse than thy
beginning, as in 2 Peter 2:20.

Admonition 2. Then what will become of all the profane, ignorant,
scoffers, self-righteous, proud, bastard-professors in the world?
If the children of God shall 'scarcely be saved, where shall the
ungodly, and the sinner appear?' (1 Peter 4:18).

Admonition 3. Then what will become of all those that creep into
the society of God's people without a wedding garment on? Why, it
will be said unto them, Friends, how came you hither? Take them,
and bind them hand and foot, and cast them into utter darkness;
'There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth' (Matt 22:11-13).

Admonition 4. Then what will become of all those that mock at
the second coming of the Man Christ, as do the Ranters, Quakers,
drunkards, and the like? Why read their doom in Matthew 24:50,
51, 'The Lord of that or these servants, shall come in a day when
they look not for him, and in an hour that they are not aware of,
and shall cut them asunder, and appoint them their portion with the
hypocrites,' And 'there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Admonition 5. Then what doth this speak to the Lord's own people?
Surely this, that they should be in a watchful posture (Mark
13:37).

(1.) Watch therefore over your own hearts, least they should be
over-charged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and the cares of
this life, and so that day come upon you unawares; for as a snare
shall it come upon all the dwellers upon the face of the earth,
as it is in Luke 31:34-36.

(2.) Watch over the devil's temptations. Oh, have a care in the
first place, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve,
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in
Christ: And the rather, because at this day he is very busy with
his doctrines, and his ministers; trying all ways, if by any means
he might deceive you with fair speeches, and enticing carriages;
what a fair shew in the flesh, yet denying the Lord, and refusing
to be justified by the blood of Jesus the Son of Mary, the Son of
God. Watch I say over the devil touching doctrines, for he labours
as much this way as any way, for he knows that if he can but get
you to lay a rotten foundation, he is sure of you, live as godly
in your conceit as you will, and therefore, it is worth your
observation, in that 24th of Matthew when Christ is speaking of
the signs of his coming, he breaks forth with a warning word to
his disciples, to beware of false teachers (v 4). The very first
words that he answers to a question that his disciples put to him
is this, 'Take heed that no man deceive you.' Again (v 11), 'And
many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.' And
(v 24) he saith again, 'For there shall [come or] arise, false
Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders;
insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very
elect.'

(3.) Take heed that he doth not deceive you in point of worship,
that he make you not slight any of the ordinances of God; for if
he do, he will quickly make way for another temptation.

(4.) Take heed also that you have not your lamps to trim when the
bridegroom comes; if you have, you may peradventure be ashamed and
blush before him at his coming (1 John 2:28). Therefore content
not yourselves with a profession of Christ, and no more, for the
devil may deceive, yea, doth deceive a professing people many
times. And if he will deceive a professing generation, he must
come in this manner: Under the name of Christ. With a fair shew
in the flesh of outward holiness (Gal 6:12). He must come 'with
good words and fair speeches' (Rom 16:18). Now though he come to
drunkards, swearers, whore mongers, thieves, liars, murderers,
and covetous persons, in his black colours; yet if he will come to
deceive a professing party, he must appear like an angel of light
(2 Cor 11:14). And the reason why souls are deceived by him in
these his appearances, is, because they are not able to distinguish
betwixt the law and the gospel, the convictions of conscience by
the law only, and convictions by the Spirit, but do (though they
profess the Lord Jesus) give ear to every wind of doctrine, and
being unstable, as Peter saith, do fall into the temptations of
the devil, in wresting the scriptures to their own destruction (2
Peter 3:16).

Admonition 6. In a word, you that have not yet laid hold on the
Lord Jesus Christ, for eternal life, lay hold upon him; upon his
righteousness, blood, resurrection, ascension, intercession, and
wait for his second coming to 'judge the world in righteousness'
(Acts 17:31). And you that have laid hold, I say to you, lay
faster hold on your Lord Jesus, 'Who hath ears to hear, let him
hear' (Matt 13:43).

Now, that thou mayest the more clearly understand my faith in the
doctrines of God's dear Son, I have thought good to hold forth
again the doctrine of the former treatise by way of question and
answer, as followeth.

Quest. Seeing there are many false Christs gone out into the world,
according as was prophesied of in former times by the Lord himself
(Matt 24:5,23). And seeing (if we be saved) we must be saved by
a Christ; for he that misses of him (saith the scriptures) cannot
be saved, because there is no way to come to the Father but by
him, as it is written (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). How therefore, is
the knowledge of the true Christ to be attained unto, that we may
be saved by him?

Ans. Indeed to know Christ, (God's Christ) is as the scripture
saith, the one thing necessary (Luke 10:42), without which all
other things will avail nothing: And therefore I shall according
to the scriptures, (1.) Tell you what God's Christ is. And, (2.)
How the knowledge of him is attained unto. And therefore, God's
Christ is true God, and true man. That he is true God, is manifest
by that scripture, in Isaiah 9:6 where it is said, 'unto us a
child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall
be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of
Peace.' Also 1 John 5:20. And we are in him that is true, (saith
the apostle) even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God,
and eternal life. See Hebrews 1:8; John 1:12; Romans 9:5; John
20:28. That he is true man, see again (Isa 9:6) where it is said,
'Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given'; and compare
it with Matthew 1:21 where it is said, 'And she shall bring forth
a Son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his
people from their sins,' see John 1:14, 'And the word was made
flesh.' (1 Tim 3:16) 'God was manifest in the flesh.' These two
scriptures are expounded by Hebrews 2:14 where it is said, 'Forasmuch
then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also
himself likewise took part of the same'; that is, of flesh and
blood, see Romans 8:3 and compare it with Luke 24:39 where Christ
saith, 'Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle
me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me
have.' And he doth often call himself by the name of the Son of
man to signify that he is very man, as well as very God (Matt 24,
16:13).

Quest. But why was he true God and true man?

Ans. He was true man, because man had offended, and justice
required that man should suffer and make satisfaction, and so it
is written (1 Cor 15:21). 'For since by man came death, by man
came also the resurrection of the dead.' And again, 'All we like
sheep have gone astray;--and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity
of us all.' And in 1 Peter 2:24 where that 53rd of Isaiah is
mentioned, he saith, 'Who his own self bare our sins in his own
body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto
righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.' And again, God
did prepare this body, the human nature of Christ, that it should
be a sacrifice for sins, 'wherefore--he saith, Sacrifice and
offering [that is, such as were offered by the law of Moses] thou
wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me' (Heb 10:5). In the
body which God had prepared for him, which he took of the virgin
(Gal 4:4) in this he did bear all the sins of all his elect (1
Peter 2:24).

And he must needs be true God, because, it was an infinite God
that was transgressed against, and justice required an infinite
satisfaction, and therefore he must be infinite that must give
this satisfaction, or else justice could not be satisfied, and so
it was written, where the apostle is telling the pastors of the
church of Ephesus, by what they were redeemed, he tells them,
that God did purchase them 'with his own blood' (Acts 20:28). See
1 John 3:16 where he saith, 'Hereby perceive we the love of God,
because he laid down his life for us.' Not in his divine, but in
his human nature; for as I said before, God's Christ was of both
natures (Rom 9:5; 1 John 5:20; John 1:1-14). True God, and true
man, and the divine nature did enable him to undergo in his human
nature, all that sin, curse, and wrath that was laid upon him for
us; and to overcome, and obtain eternal redemption for us (Heb
9:24).

Quest. How did this Christ bring in redemption for man?

Ans. (1.) Why first, man broke the law of God; but this man did
fulfil it again, and became the end of it 'for righteousness to
every one that believeth' (Rom 10:4).

(2.) Man was foiled and overcome by the devil; but this Man Christ
did overcome him again, and that for us (Luke 4; Heb 2:14,15).

(3.) Man did lose the glory of God, but this Man hath obtained it
again.

(4.) Man by sin lost eternal salvation; but this Man by his own
blood hath obtained it again for him (Heb 9:12).

(5.) Man by sin brought death into the world (Rom 5:12). But Jesus
Christ, that Man, hath destroyed it again (Heb 2:14 compared with
Hosea 13:14) and brought in life and immortality (2 Tim 1:10; Rom
5:15).

Quest. But how are we justified by this man's obedience?

Ans. All our iniquities were laid upon him (Isa 53:6,8,11,12).
And his righteousness is bestowed on us, if we believe, as it is
written, 'Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all them that believe' (Rom 3:22). And
this is it which Paul so much sought after, when he saith, 'Yea
doubtless, and I count all things but loss,--and do count them
but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having
mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is
through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by
faith' (Phil 3:8,9).

Quest. How do men come by this righteousness and everlasting life?

Ans. By faith men lay hold upon it, and apply it to their own souls
in particular (Gal 2:20). For it is by faith they are justified,
as also saith the scripture (Rom 5:1). That his faith lays hold
on and applies, that which this Christ of God hath done, and is
a doing, and owns it as his own.

Quest. What is this faith that doth justify the sinner?

Ans. It is a gift (Eph 2:8), fruit (Gal 5:22) or work, of the
Spirit of God, whereby a soul is enabled, under a sight of its
sins, and wretched estate, to lay hold on the birth, righteousness,
blood, death, resurrection, ascension and intercession of the Lord
Jesus Christ (1 Thess 2:7), and by the assistance of the Spirit,
whereby it is wrought, to apply all the virtue, life and merit of
what hath been done and suffered, or is a doing by the same Lord
Jesus Christ, to its own self in particular (Gal 2:20; Rom 7:24,25),
as if itself had really done all that the Lord Jesus Christ hath
done: I do not say that the soul doth any thing for justification,
but it doth know, that whatsoever Jesus Christ hath done in point
of justification, is given to, and bestowed upon it (Rom 3:22) and
God finding the soul in him, that is in Christ, doth 'justify it
from all things, from which it could not be justified by the law
of Moses' (Acts 13:39).

Quest. Well, but is there no way to come to the Father of mercies
but by this man that was born of the virgin? Is there no way to
come to God but by the faith of him?

Ans. No, 'there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved' (Acts 4:12). And Jesus himself, that
was born of the virgin Mary, said, 'I am the way, and the truth,
and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me' (John
14:6).

Quest. And where is this man, that was born of the virgin, that
we may come to the Father by him?

Ans. He ascended away from his disciples in a cloud, into heaven,
as we may read (Acts 1:9-11).

Quest. What doth he there?

Ans. He ever lives to make intercession for all that come unto
God by him (Heb 7:25). That is, they shall come out of themselves
to him, and venture their souls on what he did and suffered when
he was on earth, and is doing now in heaven; shall certainly be
saved: For he ever lives to save them, that do thus come to the
Father by him. And it is, because he spilt his blood for all that
shall by the faith of God's elect lay hold upon him. And thus it
is written where he saith, 'Being justified freely by his grace,
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, [Mark this] whom
God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his
blood, to declare his righteousness, [that is, to declare God's
righteousness] for the remission of sins that are past, through
the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his
righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him
which believeth [or layeth hold] in Jesus' (Rom 3:24-26).

Quest. But did this man rise again from the dead, that very man,
with that very body wherewith he was crucified? for you do seem,
as I conceive, to hold forth so much by these your expressions.

Ans. Why do you doubt of it?

Quest. Do you believe it?

Ans. Yes, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, for he hath enabled
me so to do.

Quest. And can you prove it by the scripture?

Ans. Yes.

Quest. How?

Ans. First, From that scripture in Luke 24:39, 40 where Christ
himself after he was crucified appeared to his disciples, (who
having seen him) supposed they had seen a spirit. But he said, Why
are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold
my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, and do not think you
see a spirit; handle me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and
bones, as you see me have. This he spake after he was crucified
(Luke 23:33) and buried (v 53) and rose again from the dead (24:6,7),
many other scriptures could I give for the proof hereof, as Acts
10:40, 41. And Acts 13:30, 31; 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Only read Acts
2:29-32 where the apostle proveth the same, bringing in the words
of the prophet David for a testimony thereof, saying, He 'being a
prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that
of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise
up Christ to sit on his throne; [saith] he seeing this before,
spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left
in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.' Mark it, his flesh
did see no corruption (v 31). But if he had not risen again, his
flesh had seen corruption. But he rose again from the dead, that
very man, that very body; for his flesh did see no corruption.

Quest. Why did he rise again from the dead, with that very body?

Ans. (1.) Because it was not possible he should be holden of death.

(2.) Because in his human nature he suffered for sin; and if he
had not recovered himself from that very curse, even from under
death, and all other things that lay on him, which he had through
the sins of his children subjected himself unto, he had not overcome
sin, hell, death, the law, and the devil (Acts 2:24): but had been
overcome by them; and if so, then had not redemption been obtained
for sinners; for it was at his resurrection from the dead, that God
said unto him, 'Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee':
(As saith the Apostle) 'And we declare unto you glad tidings,
how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath
fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised
up Jesus again'; as it is also written in the second psalm, 'Thou
art my Son, this day have I begotten thee' (Acts 13:30-36). And
it is this, namely, the resurrection of that Man from the dead,
that doth give us ground of hope; as in 1 Peter 1:3 where he saith,
He 'hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead.'

(3.) Because God intends to redeem the bodies of his saints out
of their graves in which they have lain many a year (John 5:28,29;
Rom 8:23; 1 Cor 15:52) and to possess them with his own glory; and
when this comes to pass, then shall that scripture be fulfilled,
that saith, He 'shall change our vile body, that it may be
fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working
[of his mighty power] whereby he is able even to subdue all
things unto himself' (Phil 2:21). And he hath given us assurance
thereof, in that he hath raised up Jesus our Lord again from the
dead (Acts 17:31).

Quest. But do you think, that these our bodies that we do carry
about with us in this world, after that they are dead and buried,
and rotten, shall rise again out of those graves into which they
are laid; when the scripture saith, flesh and blood shall not
inherit the kingdom of God? (1 Cor 15:50).

Ans. Flesh in scripture is taken more ways than one: As,

It is taken for the works of the law; where the Apostle saith,
'Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing
of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye
now made perfect by the flesh?' (Gal 3:2,3). By flesh here, he
means the law; as is clear, if you compare it with verses 10-12.
Again, sometimes flesh is taken for sins (Rom 8:1,5). And sometimes
it is taken for the bodies of the saints, as subject to distempers,
to pain, sickness, corruptions, to death; by reason of sin (2 Cor
4:11, 7:5). Now the Apostle in that place, where he saith, 'Flesh
and blood cannot inherit the kingdom [of heaven, or] of God,' his
meaning is, sinful flesh and blood, or the sin, with any imperfection
that is in the bodies of the saints, shall not inherit the kingdom;
and that you shall find to be the mind of the Holy Ghost, if you
read with understanding the latter end of the same verse, where
he saith, 'Neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.' That is,
sin, or any imperfection of the body, shall not inherit eternal
life; for, saith he, in verse 53, 'This corruptible must put on
incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.' Mark here,
I pray you, though he saith, 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit
the kingdom of God'; yet he saith, 'This corruptible must put on
incorruption.' For the trump shall blow, and the dead shall be
raised (as Christ saith) 'They that are in the graves shall hear
his voice' (John 5:28). And shall come forth of their grave incorruptible
(1 Cor 15:52). And shall 'all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ' (2 Cor 5:10; Rev 2:12,13). See also that scripture (Phil
3:20,21) where the Apostle saith, He waited for Christ the Saviour
from heaven. And what shall he do when he comes? why, He 'shall
change our vile body.' Mark it, it must be our vile body that must
be changed. But if it be changed, then how can it be the same? not
the same in respect of sin, or bodily infirmities, but the very
same in respect of substance: For, saith he, It is our vile body
that must be changed; and it is the very same, It shall be 'fashioned
like unto his glorious body.' And if you ask, How is it possible
that this should be done? He answers, 'According to the working
whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.'

Quest. But do you think this is certain? methinks the scriptures
seemingly hold forth so much, yet I cannot believe it, for it is
contrary to all reason.

Ans. Truly the scriptures do not only hold forth so much seemingly,
but they do most really, and plainly, hold out these things to
all those that have received the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For it is it, and it alone, that can reveal these things. 'For
the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God' (1 Cor
2:11). Now if thou wouldest know these things, thou must first
receive the Spirit of the Son of God, without which, thou canst
not know so much as one of the fundamental truths of the gospel
of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Quest. But there are those in our days, who reject this doctrine
that you lay down, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, as you lay
it down, and they are for a Christ within, for a cross within, for
a resurrection, and intercession within; and they do not hold as
you do, a Christ without, and a resurrection of Christ without;
and intercession of Christ without; Ay, and they have very much
scripture for that which they say too: And therefore what shall
such as we do, that stand tottering and shaking in these distracted
and dangerous times? For our poor souls are in very much doubt
what way to take.

Ans. Therefore I will speak a few words to you by way of discovery
of the falsity of such opinions; and a word of direction, how you
should understand the truth.

Therefore, he that cries up a Christ within, in opposition to a
Christ without, that man instead of having the Spirit of Christ in
him, is possessed with a spirit of delusion; for where the Spirit
of Christ is in truth, that Spirit causeth the soul to look to the
Christ that was born of the Virgin, for all justification; as it
is written, 'Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he
will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself;
but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will
shew you things to come,' mark the next verse, 'He [saith the Son
of the Virgin] shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you'
(John 16:13,14). He shall take of mine; What is that? Why surely
it is, he shall take of my Godhead, my humanity, my birth, my
righteousness, my blood, my death, my resurrection, my ascension
and intercession, my kingly, priestly, and prophetical offices,
and shall shew you the life, merit, and value of them. And this
was it which was revealed to Paul by the Holy Spirit, here spoken
of (1 Cor 15:1-8). 'Moreover brethren, [saith he] I declare unto
you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have
received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye
keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed
in vain.' But what is this doctrine? why, 'I delivered unto you
first of all that which I also received.' What was that? Why,
'How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day
according to the scriptures: [there is his death and resurrection
preached]. And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve;
after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once;
of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are
fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the
Apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, [saith Paul] as
of one born out of due time.' This is it, I say, that the Spirit
of Truth doth hold forth to poor sinners, a Christ crucified
without the gates of Jerusalem (Luke 23:33), buried in Joseph's
sepulchre (53), risen again the third day (Luke 24:6) ascended
away from his disciples in a cloud into heaven, as in Acts 1:9-11.
And there ever liveth, that very man, with that very body, to make
intercession for all that receive him (Heb 7:24,25). This is, I
say, the doctrine of the Spirit of truth, whatsoever is the spirit
of error.

Quest. But do not the scriptures make mention of a Christ within?
(2 Cor 13:5; Col 1:27).

Ans. Yes, And he that hath not the Spirit of Christ, is none of
his (Rom 8:9). But he that hath it, is led out of himself by it;
and as I said before, it shews the soul, what the blessed Son
of the Virgin Mary hath done and suffered, and is a doing for
it. Therefore hereby know we the Spirit of truth from the spirit
of error (2 John 7). 'Every spirit that doth confess that Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh, is of God' (1 John 4:2). That is,
that spirit that doth confess, that Jesus Christ took flesh upon
him and in that flesh did bear our sins (1 Peter 2:24; Col 1:20-22;
1 Peter 3:18, 4:1). And after he was taken down from the cross,
and laid in a sepulchre, rose again from the dead; that very Man
with that very body, wherewith he was crucified: That spirit that
doth believe and confess this, is of God, and is the blessed Spirit
of Christ, whereof he spake, when he was yet with his disciples
touching his bodily presence: For 'he [saith the Son of Mary]
shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine and shew it unto
you' (John 16:13,14).

I have answered this already in my epistle to the first treatise.
Therefore believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they
be of God, for many false spirits and prophets are gone out into
the world, therefore have a care how thou receivest the voice that
speaks to thee, but try whether they are according to the truth
of God's word as it is written, 'To the law and to the testimony:
if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is
no light in them' (Isa 8:20).

(1.) Therefore try a little, Do they slight God's Christ, which
is the Son of the Virgin? that spirit is of the devil (1 Cor 12:3).

(2.) Do they say that that blood of his which was shed without
the gates of Jerusalem, doth not wash away sin, yea, all sin from
him that believes? That is a spirit of antichrist (1 John 1:7).

(3.) Do they say, that that Man that was crucified without the gates
of Jerusalem, is not risen again (with that very body wherewith
he was crucified) out of the sepulchre? (Luke 24:38,39). That is
a spirit of antichrist.

(4.) Do they say that that very Man that was crucified with that
very body, is not now in the presence of his Father, absent from
his people touching his bodily presence, though present in Spirit?
I say whoever they be, that say he is not there, they are of the
devil: for the proof of this see Acts 5:30 and 31 and compare it
with Hebrews 7:24, 25. 'The God of our fathers [saith the Apostle]
raised up Jesus.' But what Jesus? 'he whom ye slew,' saith he to
the Jews. 'Him [the very same whom ye slew] hath God exalted with
his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance
to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.'

And indeed, here is my LIFE, namely, the birth of this Man, the
righteousness of this Man, the blood of this Man, the death and
resurrection of this Man, the ascension and intercession of this
Man for me; and the second coming of this Man to judge the world
in righteousness (Acts 17:31). I say, here is my LIFE, if I see
this by faith without me, through the operation of the Spirit within
me: I am safe, I am at peace, I am comforted, I am encouraged,
and I know that my comfort, peace, and encouragement is true, and
given me from heaven, by the Father of mercies, through the Son
of the Virgin Mary (Matt 1:21) who is the way to the Father of
mercies (John 14:6), who is able to save to the uttermost, all
that come to the Father by him (Heb 7:25). Because he, that very
Man, with that very body wherewith he was crucified, is ascended
into heaven (Acts 1:9-11), and there ever lives to make intercession
for them that come to God by him. This is the rock, sinner, upon
which, if thou be built, the gates of hell, nor Ranter, Quaker,
sin, law, death, no nor the devil himself, shall ever be able to
prevail against thee (Matt 16:16-18). And here I leave thee to the
wisdom of the great God, who if he hath chosen thee in his Son,
and brought thee to him; and hath made thee by faith to lay hold
on him, thou needest not fear the devil with his siftings, snares,
wiles, and fiery darts, wherewith he doth destroy thousands; but
mayest with the Apostle (if thou live in the power and life of the
love of God towards thee) cry out, 'I am persuaded, that neither
death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor
things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor
any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of
God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Rom 8:38,39).

And now reader, if thou be a true Christian, I am sure that these
be the things that appear to be the glorious substantial truths
to thy soul, and thou doest not care for that comfort that doth
not make this Man, the Son of the Virgin, precious to thy soul (1
Peter 2:7) for thou knowest, that it is he, that hath delivered
thee from the wrath to come (1 Thess 1:10). But as for you that
are disobedient, except you mend your manners, you will stumble
'and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken' (Isa
28:13) and wonder and perish because you believe not (Acts 13:41).

A few words more, and so I shall have done, and they are words of
counsel to thee. Have a care thou receive not every Christ that
is proffered to thee, though it may appear very excellent to thy
foolish heart: for under the name Christ, are men deceived, as
it is written, 'many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ;
and shall deceive many' (Matt 24:5). But have a care that thou
receive that Christ, that was born without thee, fulfilled the law
in his human nature without thee; spilt his blood without thee,
is risen again and ascended without thee, and maketh intercession
without thee: And that he that very Man that was born of the virgin,
will come again in the clouds without thee; and this truth must
thou receive by that Spirit that he hath promised to send and
give to them that ask him: And that shall dwell in thy heart, and
shall shew thee what the Son of Mary the virgin, the Son of man,
the Son of God, the true God hath in his body done for thy soul
(John 16:13,14). And if thou receive him in truth, then though
thou do not boast, nor brag of thy holiness, as those painted
hypocrites called Quakers do: yet thou wilt do more work for God
in one hour, than they, even all of them, can do in all their
lifetime.

Take my counsel, and the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon thy
soul and body. Farewell.



SOME QUESTIONS TO THE QUAKERS, OR A FEW QUERIES TO THOSE WHO ARE
POSSESSED WITH A SPIRIT OF DELUSION IN THIS GENERATION.

'Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a
reason of the hope that is in you,' (1 Peter 3:15). And I beseech
you do it in sincerity.

1. If thou sayest that every one hath a measure of the Spirit
of Jesus Christ within him, why say the scriptures that some are
'sensual having not the Spirit' (Jude 19). And when Christ tells
his disciples of sending them the Spirit, he also saith, The world
cannot receive it (John 14:17).

2. What is the church of God redeemed by, from the curse of the
law? Is it by something that is done within them, or by something
done without them? If thou answer, it is redeemed from the curse
of the law by something that worketh in them; then I ask, why did
the Man Christ Jesus hang upon the cross on Mount Calvary, without
the gates of Jerusalem, for the sins of the people? (Gal 3:3; 1
Peter 2:24). And why do the scriptures say, that through this Man,
is preached to us the forgiveness of sins (Acts 13:38). That is,
through his blood (Eph 1:7; Col 1:20) which was shed without the
gates of Jerusalem (Heb 13:12).

3. What scripture have you to prove, that Christ is, or was crucified
within you, dead within you, risen within you, and ascended within
you?

4. Is that very Man that was crucified on Mount Calvary between
two thieves, whose name is Jesus, the Son of Mary, I say, is he
the very Christ of God, yea, or no?

5. Is that very Man, with that very body, within you, yea, or no?

6. Was that Jesus, that was born of the Virgin Mary, a real Man
of flesh and bones, after his resurrection from the dead, out of
Joseph's sepulchre, yea, or no? For the scripture saith he was,
as in Luke 24:39. If so, then did that Man that said handle me
and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have;
I say, did that Man go away from his disciples (and not into them,
in his body) as these scriptures declare (Luke 24:39,40 compared
with 50,51, also Acts 1:9-11) or did he with that body of flesh
go into his disciples, as some fond dreamers think?

7. Hath that Christ that was with God the Father before the world
was, no other body but his church? If you say no, as it is your
wonted course; then again I ask you, what that was in which he
did bear the sins of his children? If you answer, It was 'in his
own body on the tree,' for so saith the scripture (1 Peter 2:24).
Then I ask you further, whether that body in which he did bear our
sins, (which is also called his own body) was, or is, the church
of God, yea, or no? Again if you say he hath no body but the
church, the saints, Then I ask, what that was that was taken down
from the cross, and laid into Joseph's sepulchre (Luke 23:53).

Now I know, that as Christ is the head of his church, so the church
is the body of the head, which is Christ. But as Christ is the
mediator between God and man, I say, as he is mediator, so he is
a man (1 Tim 2:5) and absent from his saints in the world, as is
clear (2 Cor 5:6). Therefore as he is a mediator, and a Man, so he
hath a body that is absent from his church, which body is ascended
from his disciples, above the clouds into heaven (Luke 24:51;
Acts 1:9-11). If you say no, then I ask you, Did he leave the
body behind him, which was born of the Virgin Mary, which walked
up and down with his disciples in the world, was afterwards hanged
upon the cross (Luke 23:26,33,53), buried, rose again from the dead
(Matt 24:3,6,15,41,41,39,50) with which body he did eat, drink,
and likewise walk with his disciples after his resurrection from
the dead (Acts 10:41), and did bid his disciples see if he were
not flesh and bones, yea, or no?

JOHN BUNYAN



FOOTNOTES:

1. Bunyan quotes this passage from the Genevan or Puritan version.--Ed.

2. 'Overly,' carelessly, negligently, inattentively.--Ed.

3. 'Close,' secret, not disclosed.--Ed.

***

A VINDICATION of GOSPEL TRUTHS OPENED,

ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES;

AND THE OPPOSITION MADE AGAINST IT BY EDWARD BORROUGH, A PROFESSED
QUAKER, BUT PROVED AN ENEMY TO THE TRUTH, EXAMINED AND CONFUTED
BY THE WORD OF GOD,

AND ALSO,

The Things that were then laid down, and declare to the World by
me, are a second Time borne witness to, according to truth: With
the Answer of Edward Borrough to the Queries then laid down in my
Book reproved. And also, a plain answer to his Queries, given in
Simplicity of Soul; and is now also presented to the World, or
who else may read, or hear them; to the end (if God will ) that
Truth may be discovered thereby.

"I have found David...a man after mine own heart," (saith God,
Acts 13:22)

"Of his man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto
Israel a Saviour, Jesus:" (saith the Apostle verse 23).

"And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took
him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre:" (verse 29).

"But God raised him from the dead:" (verse 30).

"And we declare unto you glad tidings how that the Promise which
was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us
their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again;" (verse
32, 33).

"Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through
this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:" (verse
38).

"And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from
which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (verse 39).

TO THE READER.

Since it hath please the Lord to work in my soul by his holy Spirit,
and hath translated me in some measure from darkness to light, I
have seen and heard, that such things have been done by those who
did once pretend themselves to be the servants of Jesus Christ,
that it hath made me marvel: Partly, while I have beheld the vile
conversation of some, and also the seeming legal holiness of others,
together with their damnable doctrine; which have, notwithstanding
their professions, made shipwreck of the faith, both to themselves,
and their followers. I having had some in-sight into such things
as these, was provoked to publish a small treatise touching the
fundamentals of religion, supposing that God might add his blessing
thereto, both for the establishing of some, and the convincing of
others; which things I doubt not but they have been accomplished;
and will be still more and more. But, as it was in former days,
so it is now: That is, some in all former ages have been on foot
in the world, ready to oppose the truth: So it is now, there are
certain men newly started up in our days, called Quakers, who have
set themselves against the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and do
in very deed deny, that salvation was then obtained by him, when
he did hang on the cross without Jerusalem's gate. Now these men
do pretend, that they do verily and truly profess the Lord Jesus
Christ; but when it comes to the trial, and their principles be
thoroughly weighed, the best that they do, is to take one truth,
and corrupt it, that they may thereby fight more stoutly against
another. As for instance:

FIRST, They will own that salvation was obtained by Christ, this
is truth, that salvation was obtained by Christ; But come close
to the thing, and you will find, that they corrupt the word, and
only mean thus much, That salvation is wrought out by Christ as
he is within; and by it (though not warranted by the scripture)
they will fight against the truth: Namely, that salvation was
obtained for sinners, by the man that did hang on the cross on
Mount Calvary, between two thieves, called Jesus Christ. I say,
by what he did then for sinners in his own person or body, which
he took from the Virgin Mary, according to the word of God.

SECOND, They will own the doctrine of Christ within. This is truth,
that Christ is within his saints: But this doctrine they will take
to fight against the doctrine of Christ without, ascended from his
disciples into heaven, by whom salvation was obtained, "neither
is there salvation in any other" (Acts 4:12).

THIRD, They will won the resurrection of the saints, but their
meaning is only thus much, That the saints are raised from the
state of nature to a state of grace, and herewith they will fight
against this truth; namely, the resurrection of the bodies of saints
out of their graves, into which they were laid, some thousands,
some hundreds of years before. And if they do say, they do own the
resurrection of the saints out of their graves, they so mean out
of the grave of sin only, and nothing else.

FOURTH, They will say, they do own the second coming of Christ to
judge the world; but search them to the bottom, and you will find
them only to own him in his coming in spirit, within, in opposition
to the glorious coming of the Lord Jesus, the Son of Mary, from
heaven in the clouds, with all his mighty angels, to raise the
dead, and bring them to judgment, according to the scripture. And
so for the intercession of Christ, and the truths of the gospel,
they only own them to be within; in opposition to the glorious
intercession, and mediation of the man Christ Jesus in his own
person without, now in the presence of his Father, between us and
him, pleading and making intercession for his children. These
things, together with many more, I might mention, but now I
forbear, knowing the none shall be lost, nor altogether carried
away by them, nor any heretics, but the sons of perdition. Now
that they might the better make their doctrine take place in the
hearers, they endeavour to make a fair shew in the flesh, that
thereby they now, as did their fathers in time past, compel and
constrain them who are not by the Lord's right hand planted into
the truth of Jesus, to follow their covered errors, as it is
written (Gal 6:12). "As many as desire to make a fair shew in the
flesh," That is, according to works of the law; do "by good words
and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Rom 16:18).
And indeed it doth clearly appear, that those that are carried
away, are such as are not able to discern between fair speeches
declared by heretics, and sound doctrine declared by the simple-hearted
servants of Jesus.

First, Now I shall lay down several grounds, not only why errors
are broached in the world; but also, why so many are carried away
with them.

1. One ground, why so many errors do from time to time come into
the world, is because those that are not indeed of the planting
of the Lord's right hand, might be rooted out (Matt 15:13). Now
these are many times carried away by deceivable doctrines: And
truly in this our God hath both a care of his own glory, and of
his church's welfare. For first, should they not be swept away by
some heresy or other, there might be great dishonour brought to
his name by their continuing among his people: And secondly, that
he might take away such grievances as such may bring, had they
continued still in the society of his children.

2. Another ground why the Lord doth suffer such errors to come into
the world is, because, those that are Christians indeed might be
approved and appear (1Cor 11:19). "For there must be also heresies
among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest."
Should not the Lord go this way to work (sometimes) there would
be many that would make people believe that they are Christians,
and yet are not. And again, that he might make it appear, that
though there be heretics, yet he hath a people, enabled by his
Spirit, to contradict, and oppose them, and plead to the truth of
our Lord Jesus Christ, and his glorious gospel against them.

3. Another ground why the Lord doth suffer, yea, even send delusions
among the people, is, That those who were so idle and slothful,
as not to seek after the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, might be
taken away, and violently possessed with error, and be made to run
greedily after the same; that they might smart the more for their
neglect of the truth. For always, those who were lazy in seeking
after the truth when it was proffered, and afterward hasty after
the doctrine of devils, when that is declared to them, shall be
sure to have their latter behavior to rise up in judgment against
them, in that when the truth was proffered to them they were idle
and did not receive it, and yet when delusion did proffer itself,
they were industrious, and labouring. Now mark, that they all
might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness; because they received not the truth in the love
of it, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall
send them strong delusions, that they might believe a lie, and be
dammed (2Thess 2:10-12).

Second, Now in the second place, why so many are so easily carried
away with errors in this day: the grounds are these That follow.

1. Because men count it enough to be professors of the truth,
without seeking to be possessors of the same. Now because men are
but only professors of the truth, not having it in their hearts in
reality, they are carried away with an error, if it come in never
so little power, more that the truth they profess. And this is
the reason why so many are carried away with the errors that are
broached in these days, because they have not indeed received the
Lord Jesus by the revelation of the Spirit, and with power, but
by the relation of others only; and so having no other witness to
set them down withal, but the history of the word, and the relation
of others concerning the truth contained therein, (though the
knowledge of the truth this way shall abundantly aggravate their
damnation) yet they having not had the Spirit of the Lord to
confirm these things effectually unto them, they are carried away
with delusions.

2. Another reason why so many are carried away with delusions, is,
those differences that are among the children of God about smaller
matter. O Friends! how is the hand of the enemy strengthened by
our carnality, while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am
of Apollos; many a poor soul is carried away with delusion. And
why so? They are not satisfied that this is the truth, because the
children are at difference among themselves, about some outward
things. And again, it makes those that are not so desperately
possessed with a spirit of delusion, as are others, but are mere
moral men: I say it makes them to say within themselves, and one
to another; There are so many sects and judgments in the world,
that we cannot tell which way to take. And therefore you that have
the Spirit, pray that these things may cease, least you blush for
your folly, at the appearing of Jesus our Lord.

3. The pride, covetousness, and impiety of hypocrites, and carnal
professors, are great stumbling-blocks to the poor world; and the
cause why many at this day do drink down so greedily a deluding
doctrine, and especially if it come with a garment of pretended
holiness. But as for these, they shall go to their place in their
time, with the curse of the Almighty poured out upon them, for
their casting of stumbling-blocks before the simple by their loose
conversation, if they do not hastily repent of their wickedness,
and close in reality with our blessed Lord Jesus.

4. Another reason why delusions do so easily take place in the
hearts of the ignorant, is, because those that pretend to be their
teachers, do behave themselves so basely among them. And indeed
I may say of these, as our Lord said of the Pharisees in another
case, all the blood of the ignorant, from the beginning of the
world, shall be laid to the charge of this generation. They that
pretend they are sent of the Lord, and come, saying, Thus saith
the Lord; we are the servants of the Lord, our commission is from
the Lord (by succession) and the like; I say, these pretending
themselves to be the preachers of truth, (but are not ) do by
their loose conversation, render the doctrine of God, and his Son
Jesus Christ, (by whom the saints are saved) contemptible, and do
give the adversary mighty encouragement, to cry out against the
truths of our Lord Jesus Christ, because of their wicked walking.
Now shall not his soul be avenged on such a nation as this, who
pretend to be teachers of the people in goodness, when, as for
the most part of them, they are the men, that at this day do so
harden their hearers, such ill examples, that none goeth beyond
them for impiety. As for example; Would a parishioner learn to
be proud? he or she need look no farther than to the priest, his
wife and family; for there is a notable pattern before them. Would
the people learn to be wanton, they may also see a pattern among
their teachers. Would they learn to be drunkards? they may also
have that from some of their minister; for indeed they are ministers
in this, to minister ill example to their congregations. Again,
would the people learn to be covetous, they need but look to
their minister, and they shall have a lively, or rather a deadly
resemblance set before them, in both riding and running after
great benefices, and parsonages by night and by day. Nay, they
among themselves will scramble for the same. I have seen, that
so soon as a man hath but departed from his benefice as he calls
it, either by death or out of covetousness of a bigger, we have
had one priest from this town, and another from that, so run,
for these tithe-cocks and handfuls of barley, as if it were their
proper trade, and calling, to hunt after the same. O wonderful
impiety and ungodliness! are you not ashamed of your doings? If
you say no, it is (perhaps) because you are given over of God to
a reprobate mind (Read Romans 1). towards the end. As it was with
them, so (it is to be feared) it is with many of you, who knowing
the judgments of God, that they who do such things are worthy of
death, not only do the same, but have (as I may so say) pleasure
also in them that do them. And now you that pretend to be the
teachers of the people in verity and truth, though we know that
some of you are not: Is it a small thing with you, to set them
you say are your flock such an example as this. Were ever the
Pharisees so profane; to whom Christ said, ye vipers, how can
ye escape the damnation of hell; doth not the ground groan under
you? surely, it will favour you no more than it favoured your
fore-runners. Certainly the wrath of God lies heavy at your doors,
it is but a very little while, and your recompense shall be upon
your own head. And as for you that are indeed of God among them,
though not of them; separate yourselves. Why should the righteous
partake of the same plagues with the wicked? O ye children of the
harlot! I cannot well tell how to have done with you, your stain
is so odious, and you are so senseless, as appears by your practices.
But I shall at this time forbear, having in some measure discharged
my conscience according to the truth against you; hoping if God
do give me opportunity, and a fair call, that I shall say no more,
only thus much; Be ashamed of your earthly-mindedness, if you can;
and be converted, or else you shall never be healed.

Here might I also aggravate your sin by its several circumstances,
but I shall rather forbear; supposing that you may entertain
wrong and harsh thoughts of me, though I have spoken the truth;
therefore I shall at his time rather keep silence, and wish you
to amend, than to rake in your sores; for thereby would your stink
go more abroad in the world, Therefore I say forbear. And now to
the reader, I beseech thee to have a care of thy soul, and look
well to the welfare of it: And that you may do so, have a care
what doctrine it is the your receivest. Be not contented until
thou in deed and in truth, in the light of the Spirit of Christ,
see thy sins washed away in the blood of that Lamb, who did offer
up himself a ransom on the cross on Mount Calvary, for the sins
of thy soul and body, together with the rest of the saints of God.

And let not the legal holiness of the one, nor the loose profane
conversation of the other, beat thee of from pursuing after the
truths of Jesus, as the truth is in Jesus, (and so laid down in this
my discourse) neither let the plausibleness of the other beguile
thy simple heart. And now to you that are carried away with the
delusions at this day broached in the world, by the instruments
of Satan, and that after a profession of the truth: I say to you,
Turn again, (if you can) peradventure there may be hope, and that
you may escape that wrath which justly you have deserved: But if
you shall still refuse the Lord that speaks now from heaven in
mercy to you, you shall not hereafter escape the Lord, that in his
own time will speak to you in his wrath, and vex you in his sore
displeasure.

And now a few words to you that have indeed closed in with the
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, and they are these that follow.
(1.) Be of good cheer, all "your sins are forgiven you for his
name's sake" (1John 2:12). (3.) Know that though your Lord Jesus,
who is in you by his Spirit, be absent from you touching his
bodily presence, yet he is not forgetful of you, but is preparing
a place for you (John 14:1-3). (4.) Consider, That he is also at
his very present, in his very person in the presence of his Father
now in the heavens, praying and making intercession for you, that
you may be brought safe to glory (Heb 7:24). Father, I will (saith
he) that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I
am; that they may behold my glory (John 17:25). (5.) Know also,
That he hath overcome in his own person (when he was in the
world) devil, death, sin, hell, the curse of the law, the power
of the grave, and all other evils, in the body of his flesh for
you (Heb 2:14). (6.) Believe also, that while you are in the world,
all things shall fall out for your good at the end, whether they
be temptations, doctrines of devils, workings of corruption, all
things shall fall out for your good, who love our precious Lord
Jesus (Rom 8:28). (7.) Be assured, that all your enemies shall
very suddenly be under your feet, even Satan and all (Rom 16:20).
(8.) Consider, That there shall no temptation befall you in the
days of your pilgrimage, but God will enable you to bear it; Ay,
and make a way also for you to escape the destroying danger of it
(1Cor 10:13). (9.) When the time of your dissolution shall come,
your Jesus will deal with you, as he did with blessed Lazarus,
that is, he will send his angels to fetch your souls away to glory
(Luke 16:22). (10.) Believe also, and know assuredly, that at the
last day, he will also raise your bodies out of their graves, and
make them also for ever vessels of his glory (Rom 8:23), compared
with (John 5:28; 1Thess 4:14-18). (11.) And lastly, consider,
That though now by the world, and heretics, you be counted as not
worth the looking after; Yet you have your day a coming, when as
the Dive's of this and all other ages, would be glad if they might
have but the least favour from you, one drop of cold water on the
tip of your fingers. O you despised begging Lazarus's (as in Luke
16:24.) For the world, for all their stoutness, must be forced
to come to judgment, before your Lord and you (1Cor 6:2). "This
honour have all his saints" (Psa 149:9).

Now seeing that these things be so, I beseech you by (those ) the
mercies of God, (1.) That you do give up your bodies, as hands,
tongue, strength, health, wealth, and all that you have and are, to
the service of God, your God (Rom 12:1). (2.) "Let your moderation
[in every thing] be known unto all men. (for) The Lord is at hand"
(Phil 4:5). (3.) Study to walk as like the Lord Jesus Christ, as
ever you can, for your lives (Matt 11:29). (4.) Let that you strive
for, be the faith of the gospel of your precious Lord Jesus (Phil
1:27). (6.) Let your hearts be always in heaven, where our Lord
Jesus is (Col 3:1-3). (7.) Forbear and forgive one another, in love,
and with all your hearts, as God for Christ sake hath forgiven
you (Eph 4:2). (8.) Let your light so shine before men, that they
may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven
(Matt 5:16). (9.) You are the salt of the earth, have a care you
lose not your savour (Matt 5:13). (10.) Be forward to distribute
to those that are in want, for this is well-pleasing to your most
glorious loving Father (Heb 13:16). (11.) Learn all one of another
the things that are good, for this is the command of God, and also
commendable in saints (Phil 3:17). (12.) And lastly, O brethren,
consider what the Lord hath done for you; he hath bought you, and
paid for you with his blood, and he doth now also make it his
business to pray for your safe conduct to glory (Heb 7:25). He hath
delivered you from those that would have been your ruin, and hath
promise to you everlasting life, Let the love of Christ constrain
you, let the love of God win upon your souls. What! he that
spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all: How shall
he not with him freely give us all things. Hold out my brethren,
hold out, for you have but a little while to run: Hold fast unto
the death, and Christ will give you a crown of life (Rev 2:10).
Farewell, dear brethren; the mighty God of Jacob preserve and deliver
you from every evil work; and all the days of our pilgrimage let
us pray one for another, that our God will count us worthy of this
rich and glorious calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of
his goodness, and the work of faith with power, to whom be glory
now and ever.

And now reader, before I make an end of this discourse, I think it
meet to let thee understand, that though there hath been a book put
forth by Edward Borrough, in seeming opposition to that of mine,
called, "Some Gospel-Truths opened according to the scripture,"
Yet the substance of my discourse then published by me, standeth
uncontrolled by scripture, as from him or others. I do not say
he doth not wrangle with them, but I say, he doth not by any one
plain scripture contradict them. As for instance:

1. The first great thing that I do hold forth in that discourse,
is this: That that babe that was born of the virgin Mary, and that
at that time did give satisfaction for sin, was the very Christ
of God, and not a type of anything afterward to be revealed for
the obtaining redemption for sinners within them. Which thing my
adversary can find no ground in scripture to build an opposition
upon, see his book, page 12. but is forced to confess it in word,
though he do deny the very same in doctrine, see his book p. 29.
at his 6th query. And p. 26. where in answer to this question of
mine; Why did the Man Christ hang on the cross on Mount Calvary?
All the answer he gives, is this; Because they wickedly judged him
to be a blasphemer; and as in their account (saith he) he died as
and evil doer. And his is all the ground he giveth: See his answer
to my second query in this my book, taken word for word as he laid
them down.

2. The next thing I do prove in that book is, that that light which
every one hath, is not the Spirit of Christ; because the scripture
saith Some have it not (Jude 19). But Edward Borrough saith, It is
given to every one; [p. 18. of his book:] And he saith, They have
it within them too; [p. 26. of his book,] in answer to my first
question, though he hath no scripture to confirm the same, as I
have had to contradict it. See his book.

3. The next thing I prove, is That Jesus Christ did fulfil the law
in his own person without us for justification, and that his blood
then shed, hath washed away the sins of the children of God, as
aforesaid. Which thing he would oppose, but finds no footing for
his discourse. See his book, p. 12. where he saith, The law is not
fulfilled: (read the latter end of that page) [which is] contrary
to scripture (Col 2:14; Rom 10:4). which saith, "For Christ is
the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Another thing I prove in that book is, That Christ is ascended
into that heaven without, above the clouds and stars; and that I
prove by eight several scripture demonstration, of which not one
is confuted by scripture, though secretly in his book smitten
against. Read his whole book.

4. The next thing I prove, is, That the same Jesus that was born
of Mary, laid in the manger, who is the Saviour, is at this day
making intercession in that body he then took of Mary; which thing
also is not confuted by him, by the scripture; though cunningly
smitten against in his discourse, where he saith, It is only
necessary to salvation to preach Christ within, laying aside all
that Christ did when he was in his own person in the world. See
p. 29. of his book, Qu. 6.

5. Another truth I prove, is, That the very same Jesus that was
born of Mary, that very Man (that was also hanged on the cross)
will come the second time, and that shall be to save his children,
and to judge the world at the last day, that great day of judgment.
And though they will not own, that he shall so come as he went
away, which was a very Man without; yet they could not at all by
the scripture contradict it. But the very sum of his discourses
is a wrangling with the thing laid down, as a dog with a bone; but
hath not, nor cannot by scripture overcome the same. This have I
written, that the reader into whose hand this book may come, may
have the more certain information concerning the things before
published by me, and also concerning the opposition made against them
by the adversary. And here, because I am loath to be too tedious,
I do conclude, and desire thy prayers to God for me (if thou be
a Christian) that I may not only be preserved to the end in the
faith of Jesus, cut that God would enable me to be an earnest
contender for the same, even to the last; and rest,

The servant of the Lord JESUS,

John Bunyan.

Reader,

We, whose names are here under-written, having (through grace)
some blessed faith and experience of the truths declared in this
book, and knowing them so to be; having tried them by the scriptures
in the light of the Spirit, thought it our duty to bear witness
thereunto, together with our brother, desiring the blessing of God
may go along with these endeavours of his, for the doing good to
our Christian brethren, of any other who may read it. Farewell.

Yours in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, for which faith we
desire to contend,

Richard Spencly. John Burton. John Child.

A VINDICATION OF GOSPEL TRUTHS, &c.

It is very expedient that there should be heresies amongst us,
that thereby those which are indeed of the truth might be made
manifest; and also that the doctrine of God, and his Son Jesus
Christ, might the more cast forth its luster and glory. For the
truth is of that nature, that the more it is opposed, the more glory
it appears in; and the more the adversary objects against it, the
more it will clear itself; which doth give me, and all that stand
for it, and doth plead on its side in the wisdom of the Spirit,
much boldness and encouragement, to venture without any slavish
fear upon those that have already, or shall hereafter, stand up
to oppose it. I did some few weeks past, put forth a small book,
called, Some Gospel-Truths opened, and so forth; and the thing I
looked for from them was, namely, opposition from the adversary,
which hath been accomplished in that, namely, as I did look for
it, so did it happen; not that it daunted me, for if it had so
done, it might have made me kept those truths within my breast,
which are now made manifest by me (as well as others) to the world.
Now I have not only met with some opposition from others face to
face in secret, but there is one Edward Burrough (as I heard his
name is so, by some of themselves) that hath ventured to stand
up against the truth, with the rest of his companions, and hath
published a book, called, "The true faith of the gospel of peace
contended for, &c." In which book of his there is a very great
number of heresies cunningly vented by him, and also many things
there falsely reported of me, which things in this my discourse I
shall very plainly discover; and the way that I shall take, shall
be by laying down some of thy expressions, and also some of mine;
and by inquiring into the truth of one, and the error of the other,
through the assistance of the Spirit of Christ, and according
to the scriptures. Only by the way, I think good to mind thee of
thy clothing thyself with the words of the prophets and apostles,
against whom thou dost fight (as will appear in my following
discourse) and also of thy endeavouring to wrest the sword out of
the hands of the saints, and art fighting against them bitterly,
with a parcel of scolding expressions. But I wish thee to learn,
(if thou canst) to be sober, and to keep under thy unruly spirit;
and do not so much appear, at least not so grossly, a railing
Rabshakeh; but contrariwise, if you would be looked upon to be
holy, which ( we know and believe that ) as yet, many of you are
not. Let at the least some appearance of moderation be manifest
among you. After many words that are flung into the wind by thee
my adversary, in the first and second page of thy book, thou couldst
not be contented therewith, as being too few to vent thyself
withal; but thou breakest out in page 3. with a small testimony
of John Burton, and his fellow, saying,

"They have joined themselves with the broken army of Magog--And
have shewed themselves in the defence of the dragon against the
Lamb, in the day of war betwixt them." When alas! poor soul we
do know, and are bold to declare, in the name of the Lord Jesus
the Son of Mary, that our God hath owned us, with others of his
servants, in his own work against the devil's devices and false
doctrine; as instruments both for the comforting and establishing
of his own, and also for the convincing and converting of some of
them, who aforetime was not converted. And friend, why dost thou
say, that we join with Magog in the defence of the dragon against
the Lamb, when thou seest the whole drift both of my brother's
epistle, and also of my writing, is to exalt and advance the
first-born of Mary, the Lord of glory, and to hold on his side,
notwithstanding there are so many tempests go through the world,
And the rather, because we know that it is he, and he alone, that
did bear our sins in his own body on the tree (1Peter 2:24), for
it is he that hath taken away the sins of the world. Now I say
therefore, do not thou thus accuse the brethren, for speaking good
of the name of Jesus, lest thou be troubled at thy end for thus
spending thy beginning in taking part with the devil to accuse
God's children.

Then in the same page thou sayest, thou hast numbered up part of
our work, and the sum is, A corrupted grain of Babylon's treasure,
&c. Ans. Friend, The sum of our discourse is of the birth,
righteousness, death, blood, resurrection, ascension, intercession,
and second coming of the Son of Mary the virgin, by which
righteousness, blood, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and
intercession we are saved. And dost thou count this a corrupted
grain of Babylon's treasure? Have a care what thou sayest, least
thou utter that with thy mouth now, which will lie heavy on thy
conscience for ever.

Then, as though this thy unwise speaking were too little, thou
breakest out with a taunt, or a jeer, saying; A larger portion, and
more to the purpose might have been brought in, but with such as
you had, or could procure from your neighbours are you come. Ans.
Friend, Who hath despised the day of small things? But again, we
desire not to bring to others, no nor to know ourselves, anything
else but Jesus Christ (the Son of Mary) and him crucified for our
sins (1Cor 2:2). Then thou sayest further in the same page, that
though thou hast not seen our faces, yet our spirit is tried,
and we are clearly described to thee, (sayest thou) to be of the
stock of Ishmael, and of the seed of Cain, whose line reacheth to
the murdering priests, &c. Ans. Friend, thou art very censorious,
and utterest many words without knowledge. We bless God, for the
most part of our line, we do labour to stretch it out, either in
building up and exhorting the saints of the most High, to cleave
close to their Jesus, or else as much as in us lies, we labour
to convince poor souls of their lost condition, according to the
word of God, and not to murder any. Nay contrariwise, we desire
through grace, if at any time we chance to see any of Christ's
lambs in the teeth of any wolf or bear, be they never so terrible
in appearance; I say, we desire, we labour, we strive, and lay
out ourselves, if it be possible, to recover the same, though with
the hazard of our lives, or whatsoever may befall us in doing our
duty. And whereas thou sayest in the 4th page, that we are found
enemies to Christ, revealed in his saints. Ans. Thou dost us wrong,
for we labour all that we may to countenance the same, where he
doth indeed appear: and if at any time we do see or discern, that
any soul hath any breathing after the knowledge of the Lord Jesus
Christ, we are so far from disowning or discountenancing of the
same, that we give them all the encouragement we may: Nay, and
we are so far from discountenancing the doctrine of God, and his
Son Jesus Christ, that we say plainly, some have not the Spirit
of Christ in them, and they are reprobates, according to that
scripture (Rom 8:9). "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ,
he is none of his." And again, Some are "sensual, having not the
Spirit" (Jude 19). And again, we are so far from being against the
doctrine of the Spirit of Christ in his saints, we bless God that
we say, It is the distinguishing character of a true believer, from
others: All which things do I also affirm in my book, and hold
forth, as doth also my brother in his epistle. Therefore, I marvel,
that you should be overseen, as to utter so many false things
together, in less than four sides of paper, I wonder what will be
the end of your discourse.

Well, now thou dost come and fall a wrangling with some of the
words of my brother Burton, which are to this purpose, (he speaking
before of the doctrine of Jesus) and this is quite contrary
(saith he) to those commonly called Familists, Ranters, Quakers,
and others, who on the other hand either deny Christ to be a real
man without them, blasphemously fancying him to be only God manifest
in their flesh; or else make his human nature with the fulness of
the Godhead in it, to be but a type of God to be manifested in
the saints. Now first of all, the great offence thou takest of
some of these words, is, because he doth join in his discourse,
Familists, Ranters, and Quakers together. Friend, what harm is it
to join a dog and a wolf together? A fawning dog and a wolf in
sheep's clothing; they differ a little in outward appearance, but
they can both agree to worry Christ's lambs. But again, friend,
let us a little compare the principles of a Ranter and a Quaker
together, and it will clearly appear, that in many of their
principles (at least) they agree, or jump in one: As

1. The Ranters will own Christ no otherwise, than only within;
and this is also the principle of the Quakers, they will not own
Christ without them. 2. The Ranters, they cry down all teaching,
but the teaching within: and so do the Quakers (witness thousands)
and yet condemn their principles by their practice, as the Ranters
also did and do. Now the apostle saith the contrary, saying, "He
that knoweth God heareth us; (meaning himself with the rest of the
apostles and servants of Christ.) He that is not of God heareth
not us" (1John 4:6). Again, 3. the Ranters are neither for the
ordinance of baptism with water, nor breaking of bread. And are
not you the same? 4. The Ranters would profess that they were
without sin: and how far short of his opinion are the Quakers? 5.
The Ranters would not own the resurrection of the bodies of the
saints after they were laid in the graves: And how say you, Do you
believe that the very bodies of the saints, as the very body of
Abraham, and the body of Isaac, with the bodies of all the saints,
notwithstanding some of them have been in the graves thousands
of years. others hundreds, some less: I say, Do you believe the
resurrection of these very bodies again, which were buried so
long since; or do you hold, as the Ranters do, nothing but the
resurrection from a sinful to an holy state in this life.

And really I tell thee (reader) plainly, that for the generality,
the very opinions that are held at this day by the Quakers, are
the same that long ago were held by the Ranters. Only the Ranters
had made them threadbare at an alehouse, and the Quakers have set
a new gloss upon them again, by an outward legal holiness, or
righteousness. But again, Why should you be so angry with my
brother, for joining of a sinner and a liar together? Is there any
great harm in that? Surely no. And the joining Ranters and Quakers
together, is but so. The Quakers themselves confess, the Ranters
are to be disowned, page 4. Nay if they would not, yet God
hath disowned them in the open view of the nations. Now that the
Quakers are liars, I shall prove from their own mouth. As first,
from the several things that I did oppose even now, page 1-4, of
this book, called, "the true Faith of the Gospel of Peace," &c.
Now lest they should be slighted and set at nought, I shall shew
you clearly this man's lies manifestly laid down in his book,
page 11, 12. That I said positively, the blood of Christ was shed
before the world began. Whereas I said only this, That in the
account of God (mark it, in the account of God) his blood was shed
before the world was, according to that scripture (Rev 13:8). "The
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," in my book, page 3
[141]. Secondly, he saith, that I cry aloud against Christ within,
in page 24. Of his book. And again he saith, "That all my work is
an obscure shooting against the manifestation of Christ within."
Where he speaks very falsely of me, for I confess and own God's
Christ within as well as without, as appears in my book, page 206.
towards the end [173]. And in the epistle to my book you may find
the same held out by me for two or three leaves together; besides,
many other places of my book dith testify of the same; therefore,
doth not he lie miserably in this also?

Again, he saith, that I am one of those that do preach for hire,
through covetousness, making merchandise of souls, page 23. of book,
which is also an untruth, as I shall shew further when I come to
the place.

Again he saith, in page 30, that I said "Christ's coming in the
Spirit was no coming." Here also he uttereth falsehood. I never said
so, as many or our brethren can witness. But of his also in its
place, when I come to it, with many other things which he hath very
untruly vented of me, which I fear not but they shall be cleared,
both now, and also at the second appearance of the man Christ
Jesus. And therefore friend (I say to thee) be not so pharisaical
as to say within thine heart, "I am not as this publican." Why am
I reckoned with the Ranters? thou art, both thou and thy fellows,
of the same mind with them in many things, and shall assuredly
partake of the same plague with them, if they and you repent not
speedily.

Again, in page7, thou wouldest make us believe, that the Quakers
do really and truly lay the Christ of God, God-man, for their
foundation. Saying, "We prize the Lord Jesus Christ, God-man, to
be precious to us, and to all that do believe, and have owned him
to be the foundation," &c. Now friend, this is fairly spoken; but
by word in general we may be deceived, because a man may speak
one thing with his mouth, and mean another thing in his heart;
especially it is so with those that use to utter themselves
doubtfully; therefore we will a little enquire what it is to lay
Christ, God-man for a foundation.

1. Then, to lay God's Christ, God-man, for a foundation, is to believe
that man that was born of the Virgin Mary, to be the saviour.

How he was and is the saviour, and therefore if you do indeed lay
him for your foundation, then you do believe that when the man
Christ did hang on the cross on Mount Calvary, that then your
sins were satisfied for at that time, as it is written, "Who his
ownself bare our sins in his own body on the tree" (1Peter 2:24).

2. If the Christ of God, God-man, be indeed your foundation, then
you do believe, that that very man in that very body, did fulfil
all the law, in the point of justification, as it is written,
"Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that
believeth" (Rom 10:4). So that now, believe aright in what the Son
of Mary hath done without on the cross, and be saved.

3. If you have laid Christ that man aright for your foundation,
then you do believe, that when he was raised out of the sepulchre
into which Joseph had laid him, then at that time was accomplished
your justification (Rom 4:25). How say you to these things, Do
you make an open profession of them without dissembling? Or do you
not (notwithstanding your talk of Christ) in very deed deny the
virtue of the death and blood of Christ without, as for justification
and life? If so, you have not laid him for your foundation.

4.I you have indeed laid Christ, God-man for your foundation, then
you do lay the hope of your felicity and joy on this, That the son
of Mary is now absent from his children in his person and humanity,
making intercession for them and for thee, in the presence of his
Father (2 Cor 5:6). And the reason that thou canst rejoice here
at is, because thou hast not only heard of it with thine ear only,
but dost enjoy the sweet hope and faith of them in thy heart; which
hope and faith is begotten by the Spirit of Christ, which Spirit
dwelleth in thee, (if thou be a believer) and sheweth those things
to thee to be the only things. And God having shewn thee these
things, thus without thee by the Spirit that dwelleth in thee,
thou hast mighty encouragement to hope for the glory that shall
be revealed at the coming again of the man Christ Jesus, of which
glory thou hast also greater ground to hope for a share in, because
that that Spirit that alone is able to discover to thee the truth
of these things, is given to thee of God, as the first fruits of
that glory which is here-after to be revealed, being obtained for
thee by the man Christ Jesus's death on Mount Calvary, and by his
blood that was shed there, together with his resurrection from
the dead, out of the grave where they had laid him. Also, thou
believest that he is gone away from thee in the same body which
was hanged on the cross, to take possession of that glory, which
thou, through his obedience, shall at his (the very same man's)
return from heaven the second time, have bestowed upon thee,
having all this while prepared and preserved it for thee, as he
saith himself: "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto
myself, that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:2,3).
Again.

5.If thou hast laid Christ, God-man, for thy foundation, though
thou hast the Spirit of this man Christ within thee, yet thou dost
not look that justification should be wrought out for thee, by that
Spirit of Christ that dwelleth within thee, for thou knowest that
salvation is already obtained for thee by the man Christ Jesus
without thee, and is witnessed to thee by his Spirit which dwelleth
within thee. And thus much doth this man Christ Jesus testify unto
us where he saith he shall glorify me; mark, "He shall glorify;"
(saith the Son of Mary)but how? Why, "he shall receive of mine
(what I have done, and am doing in the presence of the Father)
and shall shew it unto you" (John 16:14). I have been a little
the larger in this, because it is of weight.

But again, thou sayest further, The rest of this first epistle I
shall say little to; only thus much is the mind of the penman's
spirit, secretly smiting at the doctrine of true faith and salvation,
(to wit) Christ within. Ans. My friend, by saying that my brother
doth strike at the doctrine of true faith and salvation, thou dost
him a great deal of wrong; for it is so far from him so to do, that
he telleth souls plainly, that without true faith in the blood of
the Son of Mary, who was crucified on Mount Calvary, there is no
remission; for saith he, it is only through that one offering then
given up to the Father, that you must be justified. And that is
according to the whole stream of scripture: For by one offering,
What was that? Why, the offering up of the body of Jesus once for
all (Heb 10:10), he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
"But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever
sat down." Mark it: "this man after he had offered one sacrifice
for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God" (verse 19).

And as for thy saying, that salvation is Christ within; if thou mean
in opposition to Christ without; instead of pleading for Christ,
thou wilt plead against him; for Christ, God-man, without on the
cross, did bring in salvation for sinners. And the right believing
of the, doth justify the soul. Therefore Christ within, of the
Spirit of him who did give himself a ransom, doth not work out
justification for the soul in the soul; but doth lead the soul
out if itself, and out of that that can be done within itself, to
look for salvation in that man that is now absent from his saints
on earth (2Cor 5:6). Why so? For [because] it knoweth that there
is salvation in none other (Acts 4:12). And therefore I would wish
thee to have a care what thou dost, for I tell thee, that man who
is now jeered by some, because he is preached to be without them,
will very suddenly come the second time, to the great overthrow
of those, who have spoken, and shall still speak against him (Jude
14,15).

Thou sayest also the next thing thou mindest, is this in the second
epistle,1 where a questions asked, Who are the men that at this
day are so deluded by the Quakers, and other pernicious doctrines,
but they that counted it enough to be talkers of the gospel, &c.
And why? because he saith the Quakers are those deceivers that
at this day beguile poor souls by their doctrine. Alas poor man,
why shouldest thou be angry for my speaking the truth, in saying:
The Quakers are deceivers, this will easily appear.

1. They deny the man Christ to be without them, and own Christ no
otherwise, but as he is within, contrary to that scripture, which
saith, for "while we are at home in the body we are absent from
the Lord." This is touching his bodily presence. And again, he was
parted from them, "and a cloud received him out of their sight."
And he was carried away from them, and so received up into heave
(Acts 1:9-11). Now he that denieth this, is a deceiver, as is
clear, in that he doth speak against the truth laid down in the
scripture.

2. The Quakers are deceivers, in that they persuade souls that
Christ is crucified in them, dead within them, and kept down with
some thing within them, which was never taught by those that
spoke the scripture from the Spirit of God. Shew me a scripture
to confirm such a doctrine as this, which hath been avouched over
and over by the Quakers.

3. The Quakers are deceivers, because they do persuade souls, that
that man that was born of the Virgin Mary, is not above the clouds
and the stare, when the scripture saith, "a cloud received him
out of the sight of his saints." And again, that he is above the
highest heavens, which must needs be above the stars, for they
are not the highest.

4. The Quakers are deceivers, because they persuade souls not to
believe, that that man that was crucified, and rose again flesh
and bones (Luke 24:38-40). shall so come again, that very man, in
the clouds of heaven to judgment as he went away; and at the very
same time shall raise up all the men and women out of their graves,
and cause them to come to the valley of Jehoshaphat; because there
will he, that very man, sit to judge all the heathen round about.
I say, they strive t beat souls off from believing this, though
it be the truth of God witnessed by the scripture (Joel 3:11,12;
Acts 1:10,11). "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into
heaven, shall so come (mark, the very same) in like manner as ye
have seen him go into heaven." "And his feet shall stand in that
day (the day of his second coming) upon the Mount of Olives" (Zech
14:4). Where is that? Not within thee, but that which is without
Jerusalem, before, it on the east side. I say now, he that persuades
souls not to believe this, but makes them believe there is no such
thing, as the Quakers do, he is a deceiver. Again, the Quakers
make no difference between that light wherewith Christ, as he is
God, hath enlightened all; and the Spirit of Christ he gives not
to all; and the Spirit of Christ he gives not to all, which I
shall show by and by to be a deceit.

5. The Quakers are deceivers, because they say, That every one
hath that which is like the Spirit of Christ, even as good as the
Spirit of Christ, page 10 of his book, which is desperate blasphemy.
The scripture saith plainly, "That some are sensual, having not
the Spirit." And yet though they have not that, they have, says
the Quakers, that which is as good as that. O wonderful deceit,
as I shall farther show by and by when I come to the place. But
to cover himself, and so his deceit, he doth apply that to himself
that should be applied for the encouragement of the children of
God: saying, the children of God was always counted deceivers, we
(saith he) have a cloud of witnesses. Answer, friend, they were
called deceivers, and were not so; but you are rightly called so,
as I have already showed, and shall show farther by and by. In
the meantime, know, that the devil knows how to take children's
bread, and cost it to the dogs.

Then the next thing that he is grieved with, is, because I said,
there are none but a company of light notionists, ranters, with
here and there a legalist, that was shaking in their principles,
that were carried away by the Quakers, &c. When this appears in
all men's sight that can see, though you would not have it so (it
is like.) And as for your saying, because all sorts of people are
brought to God, I am offended therewith; I answer, No friend, I
bless God my soul can rejoice that souls come in to Jesus Christ,
though it grieves me to see, how some with a spirit of delusion
are deceived, and destroyed, by its coming unto them as an angel
of light. And whereas thou sayest I am like the Pharisees, who
said, none believe, but a company of poor people, which know not
the law. Answ. I bless God, I do know they are I bless God, I do
know they are the poor that receive the gospel; but friend, I must
tell you, that you and your fellows may seek for justification
from the law, and yet have no better a recompense, than to be
condemned by the law.

Now passing many railings, I come to the next thing that thou dost
stumble at, which is in that I say, some of those delusions the
devil doth deceive poor souls withal, is first, in that he doth
persuade them, that salvation was not completely wrought out for
sinners by the man Christ Jesus, though he did it gloriously upon
the cross without the gates of Jerusalem. Now these words, "he
did it gloriously on the cross, without the gates of Jerusalem,"
thou leavest out. Therefore I ask, do you believe that at that
time, when he did hang upon that cross on Mount Calvary, that he
did by that death he died there, redeem all his elect from eternal
vengeance? If not, whatever thou sayest, thou wilt certainly see,
that Satan hath caught thee in his snare, notwithstanding thy
railing against the Lord Jesus. And friend, thou mayest call thy
conscience the man Christ Jesus, or the light (as thou callest it)
in thy conscience the man Christ Jesus; which if thou do, this is
a delusion, and a dangerous doctrine. For a Spirit hath not flesh
and bones, and so hath the man Christ Jesus. Now it may be, you
think farther that the church, with the Spirit of Christ, is the
man Christ Jesus, which is also a damnable heresy. Therefor, speak
plainly; Dost thou believe that that man Christ Jesus is ascended
from his people in his person? And again, dost thou believe that
he which ascended from his disciples, did bring in everlasting
salvation for them, in that his body which ascended from them? An
answer to this might give great satisfaction to souls, if also it
might be made in words easily to be understood. Again,

Thou art also offended with the second deceit which I lay down
in my epistle, which is (say I) for the devil to bid souls follow
that light which they brought into the world with them, telling
them, that that will lead them to the kingdom. Now thou seemest
gravelled, because I said, which they brought into the world with
them. If thou art offended at that, show me when, and at what time
every soul receives a light from Christ after it comes into the
world. Now this I say, That every man hath not the Spirit of Christ
within him (Jude 19). And that there is nothing that can show
the soul the things of Christ savingly, but the Spirit of Christ
(1Cor 2:11). Then will not you yourself confess, that he is deluded,
that is persuaded to follow that light that cannot reveal Christ
unto him? But I must mind you of one filthy error also which thou
layest down in page 10. Corrupting the scripture to make it good,
but in vain; where thou sayest, That light which every man is lightened
withal, will lead unto the kingdom of peace and righteousness. And
then thou addest, for saith Christ, "I am the light of the world,
he that followeth me shall not [abide in darkness, or] walk in
darkness." Pray mark, First, thou callest it the light of Christ,
where with he hath lightened every one; and here thou comest a
step higher, and callest it, Christ himself; and then corruptest
that scripture, where the Son of Mary saith, "I am the light of
the world," &c. Here thou wouldest very willingly have room to
broach they folly, but it may not be; for though Christ be the
light of the world, yet he is not in every one in the world. But
secondly, I pray where was Christ when he spake those words? was
he I say, within his disciples, or without them, when he said,
"I am the light of the world?" He was without them, and walked up
and down in the world with them from place to place, a very man.
Therefore he did not mean at that time any light within, but
himself who was without. And indeed, they who will follow Christ
aright, must follow him without, to the cross without, for
justification on Mount Calvary without, (that is, they must seek
for justification by his obedience without.) To the grave without,
and to his ascension and intercession in heaven without; and this
must be done through the operation of his own Holy Spirit, that
he hath promised shall show these things unto them, being given
within them for that purpose (John 16:14). Now the Spirit of
Christ that leads also, but whither? I leads to Christ without,
which said, being without, "I am the light of the world: he that
followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light
of life" (John 8:12). Deny this, that Christ was without when he
spake those words (I am the light of the world) if you can.

But to come more close, to the thing. That light wherewith Christ,
as he is God, hath lightened every one that cometh into the world,
is the soul of man, which is the life of the body, and yet itself
is but a creature, and made by the creator of all things (Isa 57:16).
and is not the Spirit, as some do think it is. This creature hath
one faculty of its own nature, called conscience, which hath its
place in the soul, where it is as a judge to discern of things
good or bad, and judge them accordingly, as the apostle saith,
speaking of the heathens, "Their conscience also bearing witness
and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one
another" (Rom 2:14). This conscience is that in which is the law
of nature (1Cor 11:14). which is able to teach the Gentiles, that
sin against the law, is sin against God: And yet it is called
but even nature itself, as he saith there, "Doth not even nature
itself teach you?" &c.

Now this conscience, this nature itself, because it can control,
and chide them for sin, who give ear unto it, therefore must it be
idolized, and made a God of. O wonderful! that men should make a
God and a Christ of their consciences, because they can convince
of sin. But thou goest ramping on, and sayest, there is nothing
but the light of Christ that will convince of sin, and thou biddest
me, mind that. Now dost thou mean the Spirit of Christ? dost
thou say that that which thou callest the light of Christ, is the
Spirit of Christ? If so, then there is conscience which is not the
Spirit of Christ, but a poor dunghill creature, in comparison of
the Spirit of Christ; yet will convince of sin, as is clear, from
that 8th of John. Where the woman is mentioned, who was taken in
adultery by the Pharisees, or others, who when they heard brought
her to Chris, and began to accuse her, Christ said, "He that
is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her." And
what then? When they heard that, they were convicted by their
own consciences. Mark, he doth not say, by the light of Christ
in their consciences, as some would have it be; No, but by their
own consciences they were convinced, and went out one by one. And
were they all served so? Yea, from the eldest, even to the last;
for they all had consciences, though not the Spirit of Christ. So
that friend, here is something beside the Spirit of Christ, that
can and doth convince of sin, even a man's own conscience, the law
of nature; nay nature itself, which no man will say is as good as
the Spirit of Christ, except they are guided by a deluding Spirit.
Again, thou sayest, He that convinceth of sins against the law,
leads up to the fulfilling of the law. Friend, thy conscience
convinceth of sins against the law, follow thy conscience, it may
lead thee under the curse of the law, through its weakness; but
it can never deliver thee from the curse of the law by its power.
For if righteousness come by the obedience to the law, or by thy
conscience either, then Christ is dead in vain (Gal 2:21).

Again thou sayest, "That I and my generation would leap over the
law."

Answ. For justification we look beyond it to the Son of Mary; yet
we know that the law is good, if it be used lawfully; but if it be
used unlawfully, as those do use it, who seek to be justified by
their obedience to it, it is made and idol of, and a saviour,
though it were given to no such purpose: For if there had been a
law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should
have come by (thy obedience to) the law (Gal 3:21). Now at thy
conclusions, sometimes thou dost utter thyself in this wise, Learn
what this means.

Answ. Indeed thy words are dark, and enough to deceive the hearts
of the simple; but blessed be God, he hath given me to understand,
that thou dost all along in the drift of thy discourse, disown
Christ without, by pretending to a Christ within; whereas hadst
thou indeed the Spirit of Christ within thee, it would be thy great
business to extol and magnify the Son of Mary, the Christ of God
without thee, because it is the nature of the same Spirit so to do,
even to glorify Christ without, who went away from his disciples
into heaven, to prepare a place for them (Luke 24:50,51).

Then thou further sayest (with a kind of disdaining spirit) "Many
things more thou passest by in my book, as being not pertinent
to the thing in hand." But I believe they are so pertinent, that
neither thou, nor thy friends or fellows are able to contradict
without blaspheming, in the view of all them that have eyes to see:
for if they could, it should have been done by thee. And whereas
thou sayest, "Fools must be meddling." Answer, It must needs be,
that the saints of God should be called fools by the enemies of
the man Christ Jesus without, because that the doctrine of the man
Christ Jesus, crucified without for the sins of poor sinners, is
also held to be foolishness by them; although it be the wisdom;
and also the power of God, unto every one that believeth (1Cor
1:23,24).

And further, thou sayest, that the Pope can speak as much of
Christ without, as I. Answer, friend, dost thou put no difference
betwixt the speaking of Christ without, and believing in Christ
without? I tell thee, though there may be many that can speak of
the Christ of God without, yet there are but very few that can, or
do believe indeed in him without, by the mighty operation of his
Holy Spirit within. Nay, you yourselves do testify this, who deny
that the salvation of sinners was completely wrought out by that one
offering of Jesus Christ without upon the cross on Mount Calvary,
and that he is ascentded from his disciples above the clouds,
touching his bodily presence. (as in 2Cor 5:6 compared with Acts
1:9-11).

Then again thou sayest, "I do ask myself a question, and do also
answer it myself deceitfully." The question is, Do not the scriptures
make mention of a Christ within? And thou sayest, I answer it
deceitfully myself. But I answer again, that I am not ashamed of
the answer I then gave, because I know it is truth; and whereas
thou sayest it is deceitful, and yet canst not find fault with any
point thereof, it confirms me, that had there been falsity in it,
such an enemy to the truth, as thou art, would have taken that
advantage, as to have discovered, that thereby thou mightest have
rendered the truth the more odious. The answer I shall leave to
the Christian reader, which is so indeed; yet am confirmed myself
concerning it, and shall give thee an answer to thy question,
which is, Doth not the scriptures say, or witness, that all that
have not Christ within are reprobates? Answer: Yes, the scripture
saith so, and it is true, they that have not the Spirit of Christ
in them, are reprobates. But there are some that are reprobates,
that you will confess. Then by your own argument you must grant,
that some have not the Spirit of Christ in them. Pray take notice,
they that have not the Spirit of Christ in them are reprobates.
There are some who are reprobates; therefore there are some who
are sensual, "having not the Spirit of Christ in them" (see thy
folly how it is made manifest.) (Jude 5:19). The next thing thou
art offended withal, is, because I say, the devil deceives poor
souls by persuading them to follow the light within which all men
have. answer, friend, I say, again, and again, That there is nothing
less than the Spirit of Christ, that can give a soul a sight of
justification by the blood of the man Christ Jesus without, by
following of it. Now as thou sayest thyself, some are reprobates,
and have not the Spirit of Christ.

Then is it any heresy to say, that it is of the devil to persuade
a soul to follow that light which is no better than conscience,
or nature itself (Rom 2:14), which are not able to lead to Christ
his things, being foolishness to it; or is conscience, which every
one is lightened withal, the Spirit of Christ? give an answer in
sincerity.

Then thou sayest, that my whole purpose is a secret smiting at
the light wherewith Christ hath lightened every man. I answer, my
whole design in my book, is, and was, these following things:-

1. To show souls, where salvation is to be had. Namely, in Christ
without,

2. To show souls how they should lay hold of this salvation;
namely, by the operation of the Spirit of Christ, which must be
given within.

3.To forewarn poor souls, that they should not deceive themselves,
neither by conscience, nor the law; which are both inferior, and
much below the Spirit of Christ; even as much as he that buildeth
the house, hath more honour than the house (Heb 3:3).

4. To show how poor souls should know, whether they had the Spirit
of Christ, or not, within them, or whether the Spirit of the devil
had exalted himself above the Spirit of Christ, by transforming
himself into an angel of light.

Farther, thou thinkest I contradict myself, because I admonish
poor souls to beg of God to convince them by his Holy Spirit; and
thou sayest, This is my confusion. When alas, confusion is of,
and from thyself, who wouldst make a defiled conscience, the law
and the Spirit of Christ to be all one; as I shall further clear
to the reader by and by.

But tell thee friend, there are many who have not the Spirit
of Christ, and yet are convinced of sin by their own consciences
(John 8:9). He doth not say, "by the light of Christ in their
consciences," Mark that: Now I knowing, that a man may be convinced,
and yet not by the Spirit of Christ (for he may be without that)
but by nature itself (1Cor 11:14). I do admonish every soul if
they love themselves, to beg of God for Jesus Christ his sake,
that he would not only let them be convince by these poor, low,
empty, beggarly things (their consciences) in respect of the
Spirit of Christ, but that he would convince them by that Spirit
of his effectually, which is not only able to show their lost
state because of sins against the law, but also, to lead them to
the right Saviour, and plant them into him, which all other things
are not able to do. And thus much in answer to thy scolding against
my epistle the truth of which I bless God through the strength of
Christ, I could be willing to seal with my blood.

And now friend, in love to thy soul, I say, have a care of thyself,
that thou do not satisfy thyself with anything, until thou seest by
the operation of the Spirit of Christ (which thou must have given
thee from heaven, as being without it before conversion) that the
blood of that man Christ Jesus that was crucified on Mount Calvary,
did at that same time, when it was there shed, wash thee from all
thy sins, and be not so stout, and so stern against the truth,
because it suits not with thy beguiled conscience. (bear with me
in patience) and seriously inquire into the truth of things according
to the scriptures. "For they are they that testify of Christ, and
how salvation doth come by him."

In thy entering upon my book, the first thing I find thee wrangling
with, is by corrupting my words, and then by calling me liar.

Thou corruptest my words saying, that I said, "the blood of Christ
was shed before the world began." Whereas I said, that in the
account of God, (mark, in the account of God) the blood of Christ
was shed before the world began. Friend, art thou not able to
distinguish, betwixt a thing being done in God's account, or
according to his foreknowledge, and a thing at that is really and
actually done. Surely it was either thy folly to speak evil of the
thing thou knowest not, or else thy madness doth much appear, in
that though thou understandest these things, yet for to wrangle
by corrupting my sayings here, as also in other places, as will
afterwards appear. this is in page 11, of thine, page 3, of my
book.

Then thou goest on, page 12, and quotest the place where I say,
page 37. How horribly are those deceived who look on Jesus (but
thou leavest out those words, the Son of Mary) to be but a type;
which thing you say, you know none that do. And again thou sayest,
that I say, he is of something afterwards to be revealed. My
words thou corruptest; thou wouldst fain gather thus much out of
my words, by corrupting them. that though I denied Christ Jesus
the Son of Mary to be a type, yet I myself say, He was a type, yet
I myself say, He was a type of something afterward to be revealed.
Which thing, as there in my book, so here again I do most positively
deny, and I quote the same words again, for a second confirmation
of the same, saying as then I died; "How horribly are those
deceived, who look on Jesus the Son of Mary to be but a shadow,
or type of something that was afterwards to be revealed." Whereas
the scriptures most lively hold him forth to be the Christ of
God; and not a type or shadow of a Spirit, or body afterwards to
be revealed, but himself was the very substance of all things that
did any way hold forth, or type out, Christ to come: And when he
was indeed come, then was an end put to the law for righteousness
or justification to every one that believeth (Rom 10:4). And
therefore, friend, though thou hast, or wouldest corrupt my words,
yet have a care of corrupting Christ's words, lest thou dost even
heap up wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the
righteous judgment of God. And whereas thou sayest, "Thou deniest
not but Jesus is the substance." Answer, I doubt thou dost not
speak thine heart plainly, but hidest thyself with so saying, as
with an apron; if we inquire into what it is to hold froth Jesus
the Son of Mary to be the substance. Therefor he that holds forth
Jesus the Son of Mary to be indeed the substance, and not a type;
holds forth and believes, that that Jesus that was born of the Virgin
Mary, did in his own body of flesh fulfil the law, and impute the
righteousness of his obedience unto them that he accomplished then
without them; and that his blood that was shed without on the
cross, doth, and hath washed away all sin past, present, and to
come, from him that believeth his; as it is written, "For what
the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, (that
is, through our flesh.) God sending his own Son in the likeness of
sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:" That is,
he was condemned in the flesh that he took on him of the Virgin
Mary (Rom 8:3). And again, he bore our sins in his own body on the
tree, which was the cross on Mount Calvary.

Jesus also (saith the apostle) that he might sanctify the people
with his own blood, suffered: Where? Not in any believer, but
without the gate of Jerusalem (Heb 13:12). How say you, do you
really believe that at that time when Jesus did hang on the cross
without Jerusalem's gate, even at that time he did give the justice
of God a full and complete satisfaction for all the sins of all
believers, that have been formerly, or are now, or hereafter shall
be? Or do you look upon Jesus at that time to be but a shadow, or
type of some what that was afterwards to be done within? Answer
plainly, yea, or no; that the simple may understand you.

I now I come to answer thy query laid down, page 12, in these
words; "Did Christ Jesus put an end to the law, for them who live
yet in the transgression of the law condemned?" Indeed a right
answer to this will be great satisfaction to some, though I think
some trouble to others. And therefore in answer to thy question
I shall lay down these following things:

Answ. 1. Christ Jesus did put an end to the law for righteousness,
for all that shall be saved; for he shall not be offered a second
time: No, "but once for all" (Heb 10:10). Once in the end of the
world hath he appeared, to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;
and he hath done it once by himself for all (Heb 9:26). Otherwise
he must have often suffered since the world began: But that must
not be; for he "dieth no more" (Rom 6:9). But say you, "Did he
put and end to the law for them who still live in transgression?"

Answ. 2. There are many poor souls that are given unto Christ,
who yet live in their sins. But Christ did at that time, when he
hanged on the cross, give a full and complete satisfaction for
them. "In due time Christ died for the ungodly: For scarcely for a
righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some
would even dare to die." Ay, "But God commendeth his love towards
us, in the, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." while
we were yet sinners, yet ungodly (Rom 5:6-8). Nay, he did not only
die for those who still live in sin, but he also makes intercession
now at the throne of his Father's grace for them. "And he
made intercession for the transgressors" (Isa 53:12). "Thou hast
ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive;--and received
gifts for men." For what men? Even "for the rebellious also." To
what end? "That the Lord God might dwell among them" (Psa 68:38).

Answ. 3. That at that very time when Jesus Christ did hang on the
cross on Mount Calvary, was buried, rose again from the dead, and
ascended above the clouds from his disciples, at that very time
was all the law fulfilled for righteousness. He is the end of
the law, mark; he is the end of the law for righteousness. But if
there were anything yet to be done for justification, which was
not then done; there could not be an end put to the law for
righteousness, for every one that believeth. But in that there is
an end put to the law for righteousness by Jesus for all the elect
of God, Christ having once fulfilled it for them: It is manifest,
that there was not anything then left undone by Christ at that
time, which was afterward to be done by his own Spirit in his
children for justification, only believe what the man Christ,
at that time did do, and saved (Acts 13:29-39); and whereas thou
asketh, whether Christ did justify that which the law condemneth?

Answ. 4. I answer, Fourthly, That though Christ Jesus did not
justify sins of ungodliness, yet he justifieth the ungodly. "Now to
him that worketh is the reward [given, or] not reckoned of grace,
but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that
justifieth the ungodly, (mark the ungodly) his faith is counted
for righteousness" (Rom 4:4). He is he that justifieth, having
finished the righteousness of the law in his own person for them.
"Mine own arm brought salvation," saith he, but how? Even by his
bleeding on the cross; "we have redemption through his blood" (Eph
1:7), which was shed without the gate (Heb 13:12). Ay, and though
the law condemneth a sinner, yet let but that sinner believe in
Christ, in what he hath done in his own person, and he shall be
"justified from all things, from which he could not be justified
by the law of Moses" (Acts 13:39).

And whereas thou asketh me the meaning of that scripture, "not
one tittle of the law shall fail till all be fulfilled." I answer,
That the law hath already been fulfilled for justification, for
every one that believeth: And a believer is to do nothing for
justification, only believe and be saved; though that law be a rule
for every one that believeth to walk by, but not for justification.
But if you do not put a difference between justification wrought by
the man Christ without, and sanctification wrought by the Spirit
of Christ, within; teaching believers their duty to their God,
for his love in giving Christ; you are not able to divide the word
aright: but contrariwise, you corrupt the word of God, and cast
stumbling-blocks before the people; and will certainly one day most
deeply smart for your folly, except you repent. Here is a plain
answer that may satisfy the simple. The Lord God grant that they
may lay it to heart effectually.

Now this I say further, that if God enable any to receive this
doctrine aright ( namely what I said even now) it will more engage
the soul to God, than all the threatenings, thunder-claps, and
curses that come from the law itself. And a soul will do more for
God, seeing itself redeemed by the blood of the Lamb the Son of
Mary (John 1:29). than if he had all the conditions of the law
to fulfil, and might be sure to have heaven for the fulfilling of
them. Now as to the assurance thou speakest of at the end of thy
question. I know in the first place, that though believers themselves
do sin, yet they have "an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ
the righteous;" (1John 2:1). And though the doctrine of the gospel
be to abstain from all appearance of evil, yet our Lord Jesus
Christ is so pitiful, as not altogether to deprive his children
of an assurance of their salvation,2 though sometimes through
weakness they do transgress. And whereas you would lay an assurance
on our obedience to the law; I say, our assurance comes through our
believing, and our obedience to the law is a fruit of our believing;
for every one that hath this hope, that he is one of the children,
or sons of God, by faith in Jesus (1John